Most organizations have multiple types of users, each with different needs. Development of a user segmentation plan – with input from the actual users – is an absolutely essential first step to understanding what solution or combination of solutions will meet those discovered needs. When I get that call from an organization that says they’ve selected product X from their preferred manufacturer and need support to make the deployment a success – or when I receive an RFx that details technologies to be provided but has no information on the desired outcomes – all I see is an organization with shampoo in its hair.
Another example is “The Cloud.” Many organizations buy into the hype about how cloud services will be the magic pill to resolve all their issues. It’s like they just go to their local McCloud store and order a family meal, saying yes when they’re asked if they want fries with it. In the real world, cloud solutions are as complicated as they are powerful. Without a strategy regarding what the actual needs are, what consumption model(s) will meet those needs (public, private, hybrid) and how the various providers stack up against each other – yup, shampoo again. At the very least, before shopping for a solution, organizations should be looking at three primary areas to define the consumption model they require: what do they want to own, what do they want manage, and what do they want to control.
Without strategy, organizations may develop workspaces with what may be excellent technology, hoping it will fix all their problems, but which will result in spectacular failures. These failures are usually not because the technology was “bad,” but rather because it did not fit in with their actual needs (which they never took the time to properly discover.) It’s important to realize that it doesn’t always take the smoldering ruins of a useless product to equate to a failure. Failures can be as simple as a multi-million dollar deployment that has less than 20% utilization. Compare that ROI and TCO to a project that achieves utilization in the 60% to 80% range and the economics of the cost per user detail the failure.