Windward Insights

Know Where You're Building Before You Swing the Hammer

Published Aug. 3, 2012
Written by Sean McDermott

hammer and nails on wooden

Frank Yu of BMC Software posted an interesting blog called“Of Datacenters and Puppies.” While I’m not sure about the comparisons of getting a puppy to building a dynamic data center (I just got a cute blackCockapooabout a year ago), he hits on some points that we seepervasivelyin the market:

They [customers] know that automation is a great idea and have always wanted to get a good automation solution. They aren’t really sure what exactly the problem they are trying to solve is and what they would like to get out of such a solution, they think they’ll figure it out along the way.

This is a very real situation we see everyday. If you spend enough time in this space you come to a theory – engineers like to build stuff, its fun. Engineers would rather build than plan and operate. We need great engineers to build great things. However, a lot of engineers are running IT shops and just don’t have the experience, or even passion, for planning, process, defining services, and how services run in production. Frank ends with sound advice (which is interesting coming from a software vendor since this planning typically “slows” down software deals):

Understand the challenges and problems you intend to overcome with the solution. Fully understand the solution and do your due diligence before acquiring it. Make sure the proper preparations are done, both environmental and personnel resources, before putting it in. Leverage the experience and best practices knowledge of professional services for the implementation.

There’s a famous saying in sales – “don’t confuse sales with implementation.” One could also apply an IT slant to this and say “don’t

confuse engineering withimplementation.” This would be a huge mistake – the investments and stakes are too high with Cloud and Datacenters.