Is Your Technology Partner a GPS or a Glovebox Map?
Like so many other people I have come to rely very heavily on my GPS. In just a few short years we have progressed from unfolding a map and charting out every street and turn, or a little more recently looking it up on online and printing it out. This static snapshot of your trip was invaluable to getting to where you wanted to go. However, one missed exit, construction zone or traffic jam could really mess you up.
What sets a GPS apart is its ability to adapt to the situation as more details and information are provided. It can be a map update that includes construction zones or a real time traffic service. These will help shape the route. A GPS even makes automatic adjustments to the route based on your real time decisions. If you know to avoid a particular area because of a local event or that one route is more enjoyable to travel than the other, you make a few turns to get you on that route and the GPS will reconfigure its route accordingly.
I have found that good planning is paramount to hitting your goals. Having personally planned and executed on very large scale deployments of multiple technologies spread out over a very large number of locations, they have never gone as exactly as was planned in our first meeting. But, they were all very successful. This success is based upon adapting to new information learned along the way or being able to adapt to unforeseen business or technology changes. You often learn things along the way that will influence your next steps. Where are you going? How long do you want it to take? Do you want to take the scenic route or the most direct?
When working with a technology partner, you should select one that does not come in with a preprinted technology map that always follows the exact same path. Discuss where you want to go with technology. Why do you want to go there? What route do you want to travel and why? Does the partner have a complete picture of your technology needs and all of the supporting pieces? This all factors in to ensure you get to where you want to go. The end destination should not be simply a successful technology deployment. It should be a successful technology deployment that enables your business to achieve its goals.
A solid partner will discuss those goals with you. They will understand your customer base as well as your organization’s culture. This will shape not only the route you take but what your final destination will be. A plan will then be developed and the journey begun. Along the way, you may stay the course and hit your destination by following the original plan. Or, you may find that you learn things about the technology or your organization that you were not aware of. You may also come up on some bumps in the road, such as a market transition or an acquisition. In working with a true partner, you can jointly assess the situation and stay on the initial path. Or, leverage this information, make adjustments to you trip or select a modified destination altogether.
Work with your partner to get you where you want to go. Continue to work with them along the way. This partnership means two-way communication and leveraging each other’s knowledge and skills. It means having a solid plan in place prior to the start of the journey but having a willingness to assess new information as it becomes available to either validate your direction or modify it.
If you take a wrong turn, they will point you in the right direction. If you get lost, they will let you know where you are at and what you need to do to get back on the right path. If you decide to change your destination, they will let you know what you need to do to get to the new destination. It is ultimately your decision which route to take and how you get there. In making those decisions, it is always best to have a trusted advisor for the duration of your trip. Use your partner as a business technology GPS.
Dominic Del Balso is Director of Engineering for MCPc. He oversees a national team of IT engineers and Solution Architects to deliver the right resources for each customer project. Connect with Dominic on LinkedIn.
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image credit: w00kie