TIMIT learned the hard way, early on, that not completing an IT legacy assessment of a potential customers’ environment is akin to spelunking through an unfamiliar cave. Without an understanding of where we are headed there is no way to inform our customer of the best approach and what it will take to get there.
I liken what some of our prospective customers see as a waste of time and money to exactly the way I felt when car repair started including a $100 diagnostic bill before you received an estimate of the repair. Having founded the Adirondack Regional Camaro Owners Club, and having done all types of restoration work, I felt I was being taken advantage of; at least at first. But a new diagnostic assessment approach turned out to be the missing step in a mechanics trial and error approach. This new $100 cost actually avoided the mechanic telling me they changed the battery but then found they think it may be the alternator; only to later say it’s not in the electrical system but in the gas delivery to the carburetor! As the saying goes, it is always the last thing you check that turns out to be the problem. Anyone that has used Six Sigma to design a new business process or fix a broken one knows that a little investment upfront designs out the defects, so they never plague you.
In the same way an assessment of a customer’s legacy IT environment (in its entirety or for a single application) actually gets the necessary work started. So it is not only part of what needs to be done anyway but by doing it you can even reduce the amount of work that needs to be done. Since most of this work is done on a time & materials basis it is simply prepaying for some of the work. With that in mind it is completely reasonable to ask if the assessment cost can be credited toward the actual project billing. At TIMIT we fully appreciate the trade-off of a little dip in profit margin for a happy customer!
Where the scope includes digital transformation of your IT environment a more thorough “discovery” should be completed. Check out TIMIT’s Discovery Process for more details.
In summary, instead of thinking of an assessment as unwarranted and a waste of your money, realize it can actually eliminate you paying for unnecessary work. And go ahead and ask your IT software provider to credit back that costs toward the project since you know it gets step one completed.
If you would like to discuss your legacy upgrade needs go ahead and schedule a free consultation with us here: https://calendly.com/tim_montgomery/30-minute-free-business-application-consultation