I just hung up the phone and can’t stop shaking my head. This was the second call this week from an organization looking for a workaround to deal with the shortcomings of a networking component. Taking inquiries and trying to help clients solve challenges is a common element of my job. This can be tough when it isn’t an engineering issue but a religious one — like this one. In particular, this organization’s relationship with its vendor has become toxic to the business.
The company is trying to digitalize the edge so it can respond to a mobile mindset. These I&O professionals need to deploy a ruggedized networking device that can be set up, tested, and replaced without a networking professional. Why? The company can’t afford to have someone on staff dispersed throughout all locations, at night, to check the networking equipment, a function that’s less than 1% of the service that the company needs to accomplish daily. That would be like a manufacturer having a person to test pumps, another to check compressors, and another to pressurize hydraulic lines.
Due to the complexity of the solution, the organization was looking for a workaround. This is reasonable and could be normal if they took the time to evaluate all the options the market had to offer and decided that this was the best one, even with its deficiencies. But they didn’t, which is major issue No. 1. Here’s the rub. Instead of having valid reasons why they didn’t do their due diligence, the organization used three of the eight toxic statements I write about in Forrester’s “Eight Toxic Networking Vendor Selection Philosophies” report. While the market might not offer a better solution, the I&O team doesn’t know that. They didn’t even try to understand the options. Not only does this team inject inefficiencies into the business, they’re putting the business in a disadvantageous competitive position.
Don’t let this happen. There’s no better time than now to evaluate your vendors and leverage the one that best fits your business. Just make sure your team doesn’t use one or more of those toxic excuses to skew the results. Use the report to identify the statements — and to decide what to use in place of them.