Needs Analysis [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Good morning! I am the publisher of the above title and I am thrilled to host a daily virtual book reading. I post up a passage a day for your reading pleasure – let me know what you think. Today we start a new chapter on needs analysis!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!

PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!

PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!


Analyzing the Existing


Perform a Needs Assessment

At one point in your career, whether you are a technician working for a larger firm that provides Information Technology support or the small- and medium- business (SMB) consultant in business for yourself, you will have to assess parts of (or even the entire business environment of) your customers.

Technicians generally like to think of hardware and software when the word “assessment” is used and know just the tool to investigate the network. But, in reality, business hardware needs cannot be properly assessed unless they are aligned with the business goals and objectives. What point is there in installing a new server that works at lightning speed when the business-critical application does all its processing on the workstations?

To properly assess a business need, conduct a two-part assessment – a business assessment and a technology assessment. Microsoft offers a great tool called the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit that will aid you in your studies for the 70-282 exam. This is shown in Figure 3-1 and can be found at It also provides a great follow-through methodology in real-world situations.

Figure 3-1

The Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit is an excellent study tool.


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