Network hardware purchasing: Biggest hurdles

4280 pts.
Network hardware
When purchasing/upgrading network hardware, what are some of the biggest hurdles you face? Is it related to selecting the hardware itself, or do you have more trouble on the "approval process" side? Share your thoughts!

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In my experience and from what I hear from clients the greatest barrier is getting approval. Looking at the bigger picture, it’s not necessarily getting management’s approval but rather IT’s failure to prove the value to management and help them see the underlying business reasons for needing it. It’s the bane of us IT folks – not being able to communicate well on
other people’s levels. But if you can overcome it, learning to “sell” IT effectively is one of the best things you can do for your career.

Here’s a bit I wrote about building credibility to get others on your side.

I couldnt agree with you more.
I used to be on the vendor side of things, and could not for the life of me understand why IT does things the way they do it.
So, I wanted to explore the customer side of things, and its not pretty. I rather be on the vendor side.

Two big problems, tech heads being unable to articulate value to the IT management, and then IT management in
turn having a hard time making a decision.
It does happen too that tech heads cant make up their mind, and flit from one shiny new thing to the next. Which in turn dilutes their credibility with their own management, and in turn IT’s credibility with the business users.

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  • BlankReg
    I usually find that selection is the easy part. Having worked with many vendors, over waaay too many years, you get very familiar with the capabilities of the equipment, and you generally stick to what you know will work. The approvals process is a real pain. You are passing the project over to bean-counters who have no technical knowledge, and have some idiot saying things like 'but this manufacturer also makes routers and they are $200 cheaper than these'. Then you have to explain that although they are cheaper, you may as well have a toaster, because it doesn't do what you need it to. And do all of that without sounding too patronising. Eventually they give in, and the purchase goes through, but you know they think you are wasting the company's valuable cash reserves ;-)
    12,325 pointsBadges:
  • Denny Cherry
    Hardware selection is always easy. Approvals are always the hard part.
    69,130 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    Approval by far. It's always who's holding the purse strings. In a slow economy it is even tougher to get the equipment that is needed.
    136,580 pointsBadges:

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