The IT Chronicles Part III – Know Their Concerns

At this point I feel like Shoeless Joe whispering to Ray Consella from the corn field, “Talk the Talk” . . . “Respect the Culture”. . . “Know their Concerns”.  Hopefully this story ends with the integrators increasing their business with IT centric firms, and not with a game of catch with a fatherly apparition, but who knows.

The best way to endear yourself with someone in charge of network security and integrity is to show them you know how your product affects their world.  Cloud based streaming media services increase the bandwidth requirements of the network.  IP based CCTV systems devour valuable network resources.

Remote monitoring and control can require some intricate port and security setups, depending on the confidentiality of the company’s data.

Other scenarios can include things like scenarios on military bases where special approvals are needed for any hardware that touches the network via an ethernet port and even devices that touch a networked PC via USB or Firewire.

Some facilities cannot have RF transmissions, or even IR transmissions iof the room has windows where intercepting commands, or sending them in longer range, may be a possibility.

So how do you demonstrate the knowledge?  Ask the right questions.  Asking questions of the IT Director as to their base bandwidth expectations for data, their bandwidth with their ISP, the brand of switches, available ports, and network and site security all help in 3 ways:

1) They position you as a resource that understands their concerns.

2) It allows you to isolate many unexpected requirements early on, and build your system and scope of work appropriately, assuring success without various change orders.

3) It gives the IT Director or Business owner the information needed to budget for and provision the network hardware and bandwidth appropriately up front, saving them time and money later.

Do your part to educate yourself on any piece of the network that the success of your devices hinges.  Just because a gigabit switch has 48 ports, doesn’t mean it can support 48Gbps of simultaneous throughput, (and in most cases they can’t).  Make sure you include provisions to keep your system on a completely separate backbone if necessary, and that your bandwidth requirements are approved by the IT Director, so that later down the road, you don’t become the scapegoat when the CEO can’t download files.

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