IT research and consulting
In an IT research project, a number of research questions about an IT system are answered in an objective and thorough manner. This involves looking at the system itself (through testing, measurements and possibly also source code research) but also into the business context and the IT organization. In this way a complete picture is created that is shared with those involved and advice can also be given to management on which follow-up steps to take.
The value of an investigation is highest when it is performed for an important decision, such as extending or concluding an agreement, investing in a new system or decision to renovate. Reports that are used in this way yield 5 to 10 times more than they cost by preventing bad investments.
Before the start of each research, the client is asked to determine the purpose of the research and to formulate the research questions. On this basis, a research plan is drawn up and the lead time and costs can also be estimated, after which the research is carried out for a fixed price.
Often the research is divided into three phases: Information Collection, Analysis and Feedback.
- A number of workshops or interviews are held during the information collection. These are both with the IT staff involved who will build or maintain the system as with parties that use the system.
- During the analysis, sources are studied and compared, the source code of the system might be measured and various tools are used to search for parts where something might be wrong (with respect to security, copyright, performance or maintainability). These ‘interesting’ fragments are then reviewed. The collected information is benchmarked for the research questions if relevant. Subsequently, the underlying causes and possible solutions for any abnormalities are looked into.
- During feedback, the findings are shared with the people who maintain the system to improve the quality process, and the answers to the research questions are shared with the client. This can be done in a presentation or a report.
Time and costs
An IT research takes on average between 2 and 5 weeks. The duration depends on the availability of people for interviews, the size of the system, and the amount of research questions. The costs also depend on the system and the questions, but are usually between € 5,000 (research on 1 question for a small system) and € 50,000 (extensive research on a large system). The costs and lead time are calculated in advance for each project.
How to start?
It is wise to first request an advisory interview. In this conversation we can discuss at which decisions the client wants to use the research. On this basis, the available time can be determined and the right questions can be asked.