You’re considering or planning a technology rollout across your enterprise, whether a single location or many sites across the country. Perhaps it is a new point of sale (POS) system, new servers, a wireless network, an enhanced High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) capability, or a new security system. How much time have you put into thinking about the underlying network infrastructure?
In today’s connected world, network cabling and all that goes with it are vital considerations for any project rollout plan. In fact, I would go so far to say that if you don’t design and plan the structured cabling infrastructure aspects of the project with as much energy and focus as the technology you’re rolling out itself … you might not achieve the results you desire and you probably won’t have as high a return on your investment as you estimate.
Regardless of your industry, a rollout of new technology can be challenging. It requires a multitude of tasks working harmoniously to ensure success. But once you’ve obtained (or perhaps when you are obtaining) the buy-in and approval of all the key stakeholders in your organization, include the network cabling plan as a critical success factor.
Here are a few helpful tips that will make your organization’s next technology rollout an overwhelming success:
- Select one or more vendors who have particular expertise in designing and deploying structured cabling and network infrastructure to support your rollout. Interview them as early as possible in the process. Ask them how much of the technology deployment they can manage to.
- Vendors that do more than network cabling may even be able to help you in the technology selection process itself. The best ones have strategic partnerships with various solution providers who offer best-in-class systems and technology applications.
- Come up with a list of specific questions to evaluate vendors before making a decision. Examples include:
- Do you have expertise and experience in my particular industry?
- How do you ensure that projects stay on time (to avoid go-live delays)?
- What processes do you employ to ensure projects stay within budget?
- Do you have certified project managers?
- How many simultaneous sites can you handle?
- What is your geographic reach (can you handle national rollouts)?
Technology changes fast, so it’s essential to effectively manage technology deployments to mitigate risk and maximize the chances for an investment return and an attractive payback period. Therefore, technology rollouts are greatly dependent on the organization’s planning and implementation strategy. Successful project rollout plans are characterized by meticulous preparation, detailed requirements, and well-defined business processes.
Are you planning a technology deployment? Have you thought about the network infrastructure and structured cabling to support it? I welcome your comments.