Solutions Architect for an IT ProjectWith increasing demands being placed on every team member, IT project work can be a real challenge to schedule in amongst the ‘BAU’. A smart move is to engage an external Solutions Architect to assist in the initial design of your IT project for the following reasons;

  • They are the gurus in their field
  • Good resellers can get you access to Solutions Architects who are paid by the vendor and won’t impact your budget
  • Their job is to help set your IT project up for success

Here are our top tips to get the best out of a Solutions Architect

  1. Begin with the end in mind – Ensure you have a clear picture of exactly what both the technical and business outcome is that you are looking to deliver. Even if you don’t yet know all the steps or solutions to get there.
  2. Clearly document and define the existing state – Come prepared. This makes it easier for an external party to understand the starting point and what building blocks (or obstacles) are ahead in moving you to the next level.
  3. Engage early – The sooner you engage with a professional Solutions Architect, the sooner your projects key milestones, budget and dates will be known. The old adage of “Fail to plan…plan to fail” still applies.
  4. Ask for examples – Discuss other customer success stories with the Solutions Architect and explore what aspects went to plan and what didn’t. You can learn from other peoples mistakes to make sure your project goes well.
  5. Have both a plan A and plan B – Available resource, Budget, timeframes, management buy in and more can all de-rail a well thought out project, so it’s worth having a couple of different options.
  6. Document everything! – Before during and after the project is agreed, keep detailed notes to refer to and prepare the final project plan. Those one off meetings and phone conversations can become a blur so notes taken on the day become vital for ensuring the specifics are captured.
  7. Choose your provider wisely – Get impartial references, ask the tough questions, meet them face to face and ensure they’re going to be with you throughout the duration of the project, not just there for the sale. Your career and blood pressure might depend on it!

Some of the above notes are old school, but they still apply to many IT projects whether you are upgrading a server or virtualising a data centre.

If you would like to discuss an IT project with one of our experienced Solutions Architects, please contact Touchpoint here.