Racks shown in netTerrain DCIM Software
In the two previous posts of this series, we discussed the importance of discovering your organization’s unique needs and the features you may need from a DCIM tool. We went on to cover identifying the core tenets of a system such as: openness, security, flexibility, visualization and so on.

Now that you have a solid grasp of what you need in a DCIM solution and its proper architecture, you may be eager to dive right in. First though, you need to determine if you’re ready to start investing your time in finding the right tool. Afterall, DCIM is an investment for your organization, so let’s be honest: you don’t want to end up doing a lot of legwork if you don’t need it or don’t have the budget for it.

Do You Have a Pain?

When folks schedule a meeting with us to discuss netTerrain DCIM, this is one of the first questions we ask. Why? It’s crucial. If you don’t have a real pain that DCIM will solve for you, you don’t need DCIM. We’re in business to solve pain points with our software, we’re not here to sell shelfware.

Examples of pain points DCIM can solve:

  • IT inefficiency
  • Capacity (current and future)
  • Downtime
  • Troubleshooting
  • Employee churn and loss of information
  • Energy costs
  • Decommissioning equipment
  • …and many, many more.

In order for DCIM to give you a return on investment, you need to have a pain DCIM will solve. Define the outcomes you want to achieve and be sure that DCIM can help you get there.

Do You Have Buy-In?

Let’s say you have a pain point or pain points that DCIM can address. Great. You need to find out if you have real ‘buy-in’ from your team. What do I mean by ‘buy-in’? Before you do the work and find the right vendor for your DCIM software, you need to make sure you’ll have the necessary resources to properly implement the solution.

The key stakeholders on your team need to be in agreement on the following:

  • DCIM is needed to solve certain pain points
  • There is a budget for DCIM (determine what that budget is)
  • Employee time can be allocated

We’ve seen, too many times to count, enthusiastic IT pros who are gung-ho about implementing DCIM. They’ve done the work to find the right solution, they’ve had a demo, they’ve tried the tool in the Cloud to get a feel for the interface, they’ve called references, they’ve figured out just how much DCIM will save them in the first two years…and then, boom: their supervisors veto it because it’s not in the budget or they don’t understand the ROI (or both).

Before you put in the work we outline in the next two blogs, be sure you have a real pain (or need for DCIM) and be sure you have a real budget and buy-in from your team.

What’s next? Once you’ve determined you’ve got both real pain points and real ‘buy-in’, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some research. In the next article, we’ll give you a process for narrowing down a short list of DCIM vendors from all the myriad options out there — and then, how to narrow that list down further.

About Jan Durnhofer

As CEO / Product and Engineering Manager, Jan joined Graphical Networks with the purpose of creating the most advanced DCIM and IT visualization company in the market.