Before you can determine if a new information system is the right path for your organization, you need to assess where you are today. In the systems application industry, this exercise is called an “As-Is” analysis and it will be the cornerstone of your system selection process.
What an “As-Is” analysis should reveal:
- Who has access and what do they do?
- What are the workﬂows and processes?
- How much time is involved in tasks?
- What causes delays?
- What information is actually in the system?
- Does information exists outside the system on ancillary spreadsheets, databases, books, etc. and why?
- How does the information get shared?
- What is the quality of data?
- How often is this information entered?
- How is it verified?
- Where is the data stored?
- How is it backed up?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the drawbacks?
- What are the measurements and key performance indicators?
Can this be done internally? Sometimes, but many small to mid-sized companies usually do not have the capacity or skill sets to address what system(s) are right for them. Larger companies usually do have an IT staff but they may be too entrenched with the current processes to review them objectively.
This is often a point when companies will bring in an outside systems application expert who has no vested interest in a particular information system or vendor. They will give you unbiased recommendations based on your needs and criteria, not based on a sales quota. By employing this partner in all initial stages of the evaluation process you can leverage their expertise and knowledge towards the final selection and eventual implementation.