Information Technology Navigator

Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

How Does That Really Work, Anyway?

Posted by Vin Choinski

Tue, Jul 21, 2009

You are tasked with solving your company's latest IT challenge; you decide to set up a meeting with your favorite and not-so-favorite technology manufacturers. Oh yeah, you also remind yourself to include a meeting with your local VAR who always comes through in a pinch when you actually have to deploy something. In your meetings you hear about solutions that will move, manipulate, protect, and organize your data while getting 35/mpg, run on alternative fuel and go from 0-60 in five seconds. After many hours of technology overload and resetting your focus on the initial task at hand, you run into your boss in the hallway. Your boss asks how the project is moving along, you reply "Great. We will be able to get the entire IT staff to and from the office for a month while carrying a cord of wood, towing the company bulldozer, all on a single tank of gas. Waite a minute, do we even have a company bulldozer?"

It's not difficult to get sidetracked when selecting technology solutions to solve your data management problems. You want to make sure you do your due diligence and understand all the potential options for solving your IT challenge and would not want to accidently leave out the best solution in your investigation. This can easily create an opportunity for the manufacturers to talk about all the cool stuff their companies have been recently developing, whether or not it has anything to do with your current project.  Perhaps they can even uncover another sales opportunity even though they may have been removed from the details of your environment for over a year.

This is the perfect time to engage your local VAR who has probably been at your facility supporting you 10 times over the past year, or probably even occupied a guest cube at times. They have likely had their hands in the mix at your site and deployed similar technology at other clients. They will likely know the caveats to successful interoperability with your infrastructure. At this point you have probably reviewed a ton of marketing material and made  some directional choices, now it's time to talk to the folks in the field, review and admin guide or two and flip through some release notes.