Business Assessment [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Howdy howdy! Harrybbbb here on his thrid cup of cofeeeeeee………

I am the publisher of the above title and each day I like to post up as a virtual book reading. So – what can I say other than enjoy today’s topic!



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!

Business Assessment

The business assessment should be conducted with the business owner or a managing partner. The purpose of this assessment is to find out how executive management or the owner sees the future business. In some cases, you will find that the business owner is very content at ten employees and has no future plans to grow the business but would rather maintain the current size or revenue. In other cases you will find that the owner plans on adding ten additional employees over the next six months or is thinking about purchasing another business soon – all affecting the decisions to be made for managing the infrastructure, selecting hardware and software licensing. Using a tool like the templates contained in the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit will enable consistent and thorough research from the business point of view. Areas covered from the business side include:

Business Demographics

Chapter 3Analyzing the Existing Environment

·                       SWOT (Strenghts, Weeknesses, Opportunities and Threats), Vision and Strategy

·                       Pain Points

·                       Regulatory Compliance Issues

·                       Technology Budget

·                       Major Projects

·                       Business Functions and Applications

·                       Business Intelligence, Process and Workflow

·                       Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

·                       Communication and Telephony

To point out the importance of the business assessment, just look at business functions and applications. It is good to know how the business makes its money, who the customers are, how they are sold to, communicated to, invoiced, etc. This is important information to have for a basic understanding how the business operates. Business intelligence, process and workflow will provide a picture of how the business uses technology. Is the Internet used for research? How is customer data kept and managed?

The need for business continuation and recovery provides the best example yet of how important this step is. Automatically one’s thinking jumps to hardware like RAID drives, backup drives, tapes and software. The tough question to ask during the business assessment would be how long will it take your business to be operational again if someone were to break in and steal the server and several workstations, or if a fire destroyed the office? How many hours or days will you be out of business, un able to resume normal operations?

As you can see, getting these questions answered will affect the technology assessment a great deal. If these critical questions are asked beforehand, many potential issues can be snuffed right from the get-go and you can ensure the right considerations going into the technology assessment.



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