By Greg Klausa, Chief Architect & VP Digital Architectures at Aspire Technology Partners
CIOs and line of business executives often discuss employing “best practices” for their digital transformation initiatives. This means using a series of recognized methods to achieve a repeatable objective. Best practices are often developed into case studies or use cases for reference and guidance. However, as we have witnessed during the unprecedented remote working and safe spaces working scenarios that most businesses have found themselves operating under, there are no best practices that we can follow – these events and our responses are simply too fresh to have developed case studies for information. What I have found to be a much more appropriate method – and one that we have been using with our clients to achieve success reaching their business and technology objectives – is a Cross-Architecture Solutions Approach.
Digital Transformation, Finally
Let me start with a little history and context. Digital transformation is a terrific idea. It has been a long-held goal for companies to digitize and automate certain processes and procedures, to migrate data and applications to the cloud, and to enable anytime, anywhere secure access for employees and customers. In fact, we have been talking about digital transformation for six or seven years now, and while pundits and researchers (and not a few technology companies) forecasted an incredible and fast adoption – it simply did not happen quickly. Instead, it took the current pandemic to motivate companies to consider how to digitize their workflows and processes and to view remote working – remote everything – differently.
Cross-Architecture Solutions Approach
How does employing a cross-architecture approach help your organization achieve business and technology goals?
Every ecosystem has at least one architecture. At Aspire, for example, we often work within the Cisco ecosystem, and inside Cisco there are many architectures – for networking, collaboration, security, etc. We also work with customers who have other ecosystems and architectures in place – from Microsoft and Amazon, for example.
We see this type of cross-architecture environment all the time. Mergers and acquisitions among organizations has led to a diverse set of architectures under one roof. The same is true of the technology vendors themselves as new product and technology acquisitions are merged into existing architecture frameworks.
Best of breed or best practices is not the way to integrate these multiple technology architectures and environments. Instead, organizations require technologies that have been cross-architecture validated to work together. What we have found to be successful for our clients has been the creation of our own cross-architecture approach with a set of validated designs across the five core technology pillars we deliver:
- Digital Architectures (Enterprise networking, Telecom, Wireless, SD-WAN, SD Access)
- Data Center & Cloud
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Every organization is different and has specific requirements. Consider educational institutions as they respond to COVID. Every school environment has its own set of requirements that are based on a series of factors, including State requirements, whether they are union or non-union, their technology environment (email system, learning management system, video conferencing system), and how they are applying “hybrid learning” for their classrooms. They cannot simply purchase from a research firm’s Top 10 Tech list and hope that everything will work for them.
A cross-architecture approach seeks to understand customer needs, distinguish customer goals, and apply a consultative approach to challenges facing the business. The goal is the proper design of a technology solution that addresses your desires for how you want to run your business. Here are the benefits to our Aspire Validated Designs Cross-Architecture Solutions Approach:
- Tailored approach – we determine the best solutions designed to meet customer processes.
- Focused on outcomes – we are focused on business needs and goals, not technologies.
- Future-focused environments – we want customers to be able to consume more services without fear of integration challenges.
By employing a cross-architecture approach, we can help you bring together different ecosystems and different architectures. We strive to integrate a set of solutions within multiple architectures that makes sense for a specific customer’s environment – often a hybrid environment that is partially on-premise and in-the-cloud, based on multiple vendor architectures. That provides you with the most flexible, agile, and responsive environment for today – and whatever the future brings.
Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.