India - China cold war

Friday, July 27, 2007

...thoughts of a System Integrator

"Jacks of all trades,” and preferably master of some (though often better than master of one). SI is the road i choose to walk on... its sure is a line that gives me a kick :)
Here is my take on it... I think the biggest challenge in today’s service economy is how best to bridge the gap between business and technology. Within an Open Source environment (some experience swimming this ocean), the gap is the empty space between the business vision, strategy and the technology required to realize that strategy on an ongoing basis.

Consider...legacy systems, multiple databases, each serving different types of accounts with little to no automated data sharing. How does a major business process map through all the hardware and software elements of the datacenter? How does it all tie together, how easy is it to make a change or even understand the implications of a potential change? These i believe are major hindrances toward a more seamless, flexible environment in which the vision, strategy, and technology are all coordinated.

In order for an SI to move beyond being one person or company that integrates disparate systems into a datacenter environment, they need to be able to bridge the connections between the systems and business. And the only way to successfully do this is to understand the business. Good SI’s hold the advantage in this approach as they understand business top to bottom, comprising skills of part business executive, part industry consultant, part technologist, and part innovator.

SIs also have the role of driving the best technologies into business...Many of the best technologies are built from startups, particularly in the open source space. And these startups, with their great technological innovations, don’t have an easy entry into the mass corporations. The SIs have this penetration capability with their skills, proven solutions, and their relationships.
The priority, of course, for an SI is to ensure our customers have the best offerings for their mission critical environments. As an SI, you simply will not succeed unless your customers do. I think SI's due to their inherent role in their respective corporates have a genuine focus in making their clients succeed and form strategic relationships that go a long way into making corporates successful. I firmly believe that no matter the USP offered, the name you carry, the promises you make to deliver on commitments, you got nothing until you have a chemistry with your customer - that my friend is what SI's ultimately do for you...