Evaluating technologies

For your final assessment you have been asked to evaluate and compare a minimum of three technologies that will help resolve a set issue.

To evaluate the technologies you first need to think about your chosen scenario and the users. The most important question to ask here is – what is the issue that needs to be resolved, and how could technology be of benefit?

After that you can begin to evaluate the different technologies and how they will respond to the users wants and needs. As all the scenarios are different there is no set of questions that will apply to all scenarios.

Below is a list of suggested questions that you can work from, but they are not exhaustive and will not apply to every scenario. As a post-graduate student you are expected to be able to use these as a basis for developing your own evaluation strategy.

Questions you might ask about the tool include:

  • Is the tool user friendly?

Is it tool appealing and easy to use? Will it be appropriate for the users? Think about the usability of the tool.  Will the organisation have to invest in training for the tool to be used properly?

  • Can the tool be used for collaboration?

Is it easy to share information via this tool? Does it need to have a chat function, or enable document sharing? What sort of collaboration will be required by the users and does the tool allow this.

  • Compatibility

Is the tool compatible with the systems that are already in use? Is it a stand alone tool or does it integrate with other products?

  • Customisation

Can the tool be customised if it needs to be? What type of customisation can be used, if any.

  • Administration

Who is going to be the system administrator? Will users be expected to set up and manage their own profiles? Will different staff members have different levels of access?

  • Cost

What is the overall cost to the company, in terms of the product, any other staff that might need to be employed to manage it, and training.

  • Product support and history

Is the product well supported, or is this going to be managed by the company? Is it open source, and will this impact on the company? What is the history of the product, has it been through numerous changes, and will this impact on the desire to use it?

  • Privacy and security

Does the tool need to protect users privacy? Is it a secure system if it is being used for eCommerce.

  • Visability

Is the purpose of the tool to make the company visible? How will the tool allow this to happen, can it be used to advertise?

These are some of the questions that you might like to consider when you are evaluating and comparing tools. You only have 3000 words for this assignment so it may be more efficient to present your findings in table format.

You may also wish to ‘score’ the tools. You can do this by deciding what elements are important in the tool and therefore which features you will be evaluating. You might then wish to give each element a mark out of 10 to help show which technology would be the most effective.



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