Over the past few years, we have seen an ever-changing landscape when it comes to technology. When I first started in IT, my company decided on IBM for everything. Servers, storage, and even the backup tools were delivered by them. But today’s solutions are being built to suit the customer’s specific needs and no vendor can really supply a one-stop shop. That’s why we need collaboration and partnerships between vendors!
The one-stop shop solutions are really a thing of the past. Working with different customers over the past year, it has become apparent that everyone is looking to achieve an outcome or business need. One thing they don’t really focus on is the technology, so long as the solution delivers. Now, I say this with a smile because for every conversation I have like this, there is always an IT manager in the background thinking, "How am I going to manage this? How am I going to deliver a solution that meets the skills I have in my team?" I know that when I was an IT manager, this would be on my mind.
For all levels within businesses, I believe there are three main questions you should always answer:
Why is it important to collaborate?
Every vendor today is trying to work with another vendor to create partnerships that enhance their products and solution offerings. This is important and I believe it is the right direction for vendors to go. This approach means solutions are designed and put forward to meet the customer’s end goal rather than always trying to meet the budget.
How does collaborating provide value to my business?
Partnerships and collaboration within the IT industry are important to helping your business grow and develop to compete within their market sectors. In my years of working with vendors, I have found that the relationships are starting to change. You look on them more as strategic partners who help ensure the solutions you deploy are of the best tools and applications to meet your service requirements.
What are the challenges I could face with collaboration?
In my view, the benefits really do outweigh the challenges. With the deployment of a multi-vendor environment, managing these solutions becomes more complex. From hybrid cloud monitoring to integrated backup tools, it would all be easier if you had one tool to monitor them. Another challenge you may run into is training. Bringing in new technologies might mean multiple management consoles and skill up. Again, this starts to move towards the requirement for a centralised monitoring tool.