Assessments: Billable? Necessary? All the Same?

Lots of vendors in this space give away assessments yet Protelligent charges for them. Why? We’re not saying our way is the only way, we just feel we’re both better served doing it this way.
What is an assessment?

  • “The act of making a judgment about something.” Merriam-Webster.
  • “The act of judging or deciding the amount, value, quality, or importance of something, or the judgment or decision that is made.” Cambridge
  • An IT-specific assessment will address the needs of the organization, including:
    • Ability to meet organizational goals.
    • Ability to provide compliance.
    • Governance, such as span of change control, back-ups, and business continuity plan integration.
  • An IT assessment will address in-place technologies, including:
    • Network
    • WAN
    • Software
    • Security

Since when is IT like accounting or health care?
It’s accepted wisdom to get a second medical opinion. Large accounting firms exist solely for the purpose of providing objective, 3rd party documentation of organizations’ financials. Similarly, a well-run IT environment will occasionally have a 3rd party assessment.
Are all IT assessments the same basic thing?
Not by a long shot. Nor should they. It depends on what the client is trying to achieve.
Should assessments be billable? There are two reasons Protelligent says yes:

  1. To maintain objectivity for both parties.
  2. To help ensure the assessment stands on its own as an item of value. A good assessment can be used by the client as the basis of an RFP if they wish. Or as guidance for internal IT resources. There is no implied or direct connection to business being awarded to the assessment author.

Are they created equal?
No, and as stated above, intentionally so. However, some may miss crucial needs identification if the assessing party is beyond their depth on a topic. In fact, in this case, it’s likely the gap is not even noticed let alone measured or identified. So it’s advisable to ensure the party doing the assessment have the breadth of skills needed to perform the assessment you want. Inclusion of organization business objectives is a common gap.

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