Skip to main content

Achieving Harmony In Your Technology Ecosystem

Creating a successful roadmap for digital transformation often begins with an in-depth look at an institution’s current technology and cyber infrastructure. Through this analysis, an organization can determine how best to modernize their IT strategy to help achieve an institutional mission and business initiatives. To aid member institutions in this complex endeavor, Edge performs a valuable service called an Enterprise 360 (E360) Assessment. The evaluation provides a holistic, 360-degree view of an institution’s current-state technology program and digital footprint and reviews all aspects of technology operations; investment and costs; service, software and hardware; cybersecurity; and educational technology.

While Edge has been assisting member institutions in the development of their technology strategies for years, the need for a comprehensive service like E360 became evident. By taking a 360-degree inventory and assessment of an organization’s technology investments, Edge can help determine whether these investments in equipment, staff, and software are optimal for achieving organizational goals and objectives. Oftentimes, the types of technology investments that have been made are mismatched with an institution’s own size, capabilities, mission, and objectives. With Edge’s thought leadership and breadth of consultative expertise across technology domains, member institutions can gain valuable insight into the operational integrity and appropriateness of their current technology ecosystem. Several Edge member institutions have already benefited from E360 assessments including, but not limited to, Bloomfield College, Felician University, Georgian Court University (GCU), and William Jewell College.

Assessing Digital Transformation Readiness
The big picture view provided by the E360 Assessment allows an organization to see their institutional organism in its entirety and all the interactions between tech capability and whether their business needs and strategies can be successfully executed. When conducting an E360 analysis, the EdgePro team will focus on a variety of technology-related domains that impact digital transformation readiness, including current managerial finance and economic approaches within IT, cybersecurity capacity and capability, and an institution’s entire technology stack. Similarly to the importance of a doctor performing bloodwork in order to make a diagnosis, the E360 allows data to be collected and tested against the industry standards and best practices of business and technology science for IT. 

One of the most important goals of the E360 is ensuring strategic technology plans, including contracts and terms for services, are creating a technology operating environment with the best possible return on investment. To begin an assessment, the Edge team typically reviews all documentation and contractual terms of an institution’s technology investments, as well as monitoring and performing a traffic analysis. This is followed by a two-day onsite visit to meet with stakeholders and representatives from each functional and academic area during standard business hours. This approach allows for a broad and deep exploration of an institution’s technology program, as well as viewing the aspects that relate not just to technology, but to the functional knowledge, skill, and efforts of the organization and whether they are effectively being facilitated by technology.

Balancing the Technology Ecosystem
Many higher education organizations commonly have clusters of technology activity and investments can become disjointed to fulfill these focused needs. As part of the assessment, the E360 service reviews technology needs and capabilities across campus and ensures that an IT strategy allows all areas to work in harmony in the most optimal and streamlined process possible. Upon completion of the assessment, the organization will receive a diagnostic and prescriptive report, including an executive summary that outlines which aspects of an institution’s current technology and cyber infrastructure need immediate attention and the recommendations for accelerating the organization’s ability to drive business goals.

IT Strategy
The EdgePro team will review, revise, and update (or generate if necessary) a Strategic Technology Plan which ensures IT strategy is aligned with the institution’s mission, vision, and strategy.

IT Organizational Review
An analysis of the IT organization from a business science perspective designed to define domains and teams, establish accountability and authority, and improve overall operations.

IT Governance
An evaluation of the existing IT governance model, taking into account the culture, organizational structure, maturity, and strategy to ensure that IT investments are optimized, aligned with business strategy, and delivering value within acceptable risk boundaries.

IT Economics and Finance
An examination of current managerial finance and economic approaches within IT, including capital expenditures, operational expenditures, and purchasing processes.

Enterprise Information Systems Architecture (EISA)
A thorough and defined analysis of the institution’s entire technology stack, mapping the dependencies and strategic utility of various technologies from technical architecture through their impacts on the institution’s mission.

Institutional Data
Analyze any existing Master Data Management (MDM) strategies and provide a plan to establish institutional governance and a cross-functional team focused on the implementation or improvement of data architecture, data governance, and data stewardship.

IT Service Management (ITSM) Framework
Assess and adapt the institution’s current IT Service Management model to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices in order to emphasize business-centric and customer-centric approaches, rather than IT-centric service delivery mechanisms.

Cyber Infrastructure
A detailed analysis of existing cyber infrastructure, including the Wide & Local Area Network
(WAN & LAN), network infrastructure, wireless connectivity, data center total cost of ownership, and cloud migration strategy.

A thorough review of cybersecurity capacity and capability, taking existing technology implementation, security policies and procedures, end-user cybersecurity awareness, and regulatory compliance into account.  

Digital Transformation Capacity and Capability
Taking into account best practices for Organizational Change Management (OCM), Business Process Management/Modeling (BPM), Business Analysis (BA), and Project Management (PM), we’ll assess institutional and IT maturity to define and practice digital transformation successfully.

In addition, the assessment can conduct a knowledge and skills matrix, where an organization can identify any gaps of where they may need to backfill existing vacancies or places where they are overloading personnel with responsibilities of mission critical importance. By taking inventory and properly aligning their personnel to the highest priority and best-fit items, an organization can efficiently synchronize their workforce with their IT needs. Institutions can also identify operational efficiencies through the E360 that allow them to migrate workloads to cloud services and adopt virtualization strategies to help unburden their staff. Edge aims to assist organizations in identifying investments that will modernize their technology solutions and implementations, while achieving operating efficiency in the process.

The actionable items provided from an E360 focus on remediation, acceleration, and transformation, and creating a roadmap for technology that moves in concert with the organization’s strategic plan. Most importantly, the solutions suggested in the assessment to achieve this mission are all encompassing as well. Through EdgeMarket, organizations can find the solutions and consortium-based pricing needed to help address the issues uncovered through the E360. Edge procures and curates the solutions and services that are available on the open market on behalf of its member institutions—helping organizations gain access to current technologies at an affordable price.

Embracing Change and Modernization
This service can provide beneficial insight and direction for a variety of organizations, whether they have a well-established strategic technology plan or are just beginning to develop their approach for digital transformation. An institution may be struggling with a lackluster technology strategy or capacities that are not up to par; or an organization may be looking to mature their technology landscape and is seeking to improve the efficiency of how technology is utilized and the ways it impacts academic and business operations. In addition, an institution may be engaged or emerging from a major digital transformation initiative and they want to ensure they maximize their return on investment.

Through a dissection of an institution’s technology ecosystem, Edge can suggest solutions for both medium- and long-term changes that would allow an organization to leverage their technology capacity and capability to successfully achieve their digital transformation and business goals. Once the E360 is completed, the results can be a driver for organizational change management and an opportunity for an institution to rethink, modernize, and welcome the digital age. As organizations ready themselves for the future, Edge is dedicated to helping institutions confidently embrace change and the immense opportunities that the right technology approach and investment can bring.

No matter where you are on your digital transformation journey, Edge can offer valuable insight and guidance to help your organization effectively leverage technology and maximize your return on investment. Learn more about the E360 Assessment at