Gap analysis is a topic related to management. Gap analysis is a management tool for early detection of vulnerabilities. Gap analysis is a systematic way to improve the efficiency for strategic and operational purposes. In other words, it is the comparison of actual performance with desired performance. The gap analysis provides a rough overview that can be used for in-depth analysis, for example, for a portfolio analysis or product/market analysis. Gap analysis may identify the gaps between the optimized allocation and integration of the resources. Hence, in IT it has to do with CAPEX, OPEX and technology.
With the help of gap analysis, it can be determined whether the planned goals can be achieved if today’s action is transferred to the future. It is difficult for the companies to estimate what can be achieved in a given period of time if there is no basis for evaluating and comparing the current situation. To identify optimization potential, companies need to know both their current state and their future direction. The gap analysis identifies and quantifies differences between TARGET (a vision to be achieved by a new strategy) and ACT (the assumption of evolution while maintaining the current strategy) of any kind. It describes whether the desired or planned result is achieved with the current developments and activities on the basis of the actual values.
Gap analysis is an instrument for identifying fields of action through quantitative and qualitative variance analysis. The scope of the analysis may extend to the entire enterprise or just to a specific department or team . Gap analysis can focus on a business process, business strategy, or technology. The main purpose of the gap analysis is to define the necessary action steps as a set of measures to get from the current state to the desired state and to reduce the gap. The gap analysis is performed as follows:
- Matching the planning variables for a specific planning period with the actual developments
– Analysis of the current situation as well as exploration (projecting values into the future)
– Definition of the target image
- Interpretation of the gap
– Presentation of the deviation from the planned target achievement and identification of the target gap
- Development of a catalog with defined measures
Without a systematic approach, companies can ultimately set goals that are over- or under-ambitious. Companies that set themselves arbitrary goals usually either struggle to reach them or they pay. Companies use gap analysis in many areas. One of the most common applications is competitiveness analysis to analyze where the company is compared to its competitors. The gap analysis provides a clearer picture of the future direction and a basis for a catalog of measures. In IT, gap analysis provides a solid foundation for building the roadmap of digital initiatives. Prioritize the results of the gap analysis into different measures to close the gaps. And determine the optimal sequence of actions, for example, as a work breakdown structure with a clear definition of the predecessor-successor relationships of each element. This approach quickly reveals where there are significant gaps and potential for optimization. From this, the phase plan for the roadmap can be developed as rough planning and basis for further project planning .