Got IT infrastructure/integration issues? Look for these 4 capabilities in your technology partner Posted on October 26, 2017 by Tim Burke An IT infrastructure integration technology partner you can count on will be able to field professional teams that have… Deep experience in assessing gaps between your current IT environment and the business strategies and goals that environment must enable. You’re best served by a partner who can assess your current infrastructure and then show you both the advantages and limits of multiple options that boost its ability to support business goals. The extensive and up-to-date expertise necessary to deploy and integrate leading-edge technologies like virtualization, software-defined networks/components/policies, autonomics, containerization, microservices, blockchain, IoT protocols, etc. Network and data center resources powering an ability to provide you with flexible, highly customizable infrastructure configurations. Ideally, these range from cloud platforms and managed services that span infrastructure-as-a-service and a broad swath of industry- and function-focused capabilities to co-location, on-premises systems, and all manner of hybrid combinations. A commitment to customers (that would be you) which includes proactive attention to your interests, thanks to a dedicated (and, yes, human) account manager who doesn’t have to be brought up to speed about your situation every time you call. This sort of breadth-plus-depth matters more and more as technology-driven changes in your customers’ expectations force you to adapt your IT infrastructure, something that typically entails integrating new IT capabilities and even developing plans to embrace new architectures. To help your chosen technology partner help you, here are a couple of steps you can take even before your first meeting: Revisit your business strategies and goals Do not decide what technologies (or vendors) you need before you’ve revisited your company’s business strategies and goals with an eye to how current priorities, resources, and capabilities may impact them. Technologies are merely tools; decisions about such tools should always be made in the context of your business’s goals. Find out what you’ve already got – and who uses it It’s important to understand what technologies your enterprise uses, how they’re used, by whom, and to what end. If you can, get a handle on what’s integrated with what, where silos linger, the extent of your organization’s shadow IT. Likewise, you need to know about your enterprise data: who creates it, how it’s shared, secured, stored, backed up. Have frank conversations with IT staff and LOB managers about IT-induced pain points as well as technology wish lists; what you learn will be invaluable. The more you know… The best way to engage your selected technology partner is with a solid, fresh grasp of your business strategies and goals as well as its IT capabilities and shortcomings. This will shorten your journey to achieving the IT infrastructure you’ll need to stay competitive.