Any new technology rollout comes with some hurdles. Following a few key steps early on will prevent project-killing surprises down the road.
Cox Business representatives will help you work your way through them, just as they have with thousands of other successful businesses. Here’s a checklist for getting started.
Getting Started With Metro Ethernet: A Checklist
Any rollout of new technology comes with some hurdles, and improving your information processing capabilities with Cox Business Metro Ethernet is no exception. Following a few key steps early on will prevent project-killing surprises down the road. Cox Business representatives will help you work your way through them, just as they have with thousands of other successful businesses. Here’s a checklist for getting started:
- Get a team. You need to engage stakeholder as early in the process as possible to get good buy-in. Involve the team with actionable items, and give them valuable information they can pass on to their areas of the business. Coordinate with their supervisors, and make sure they have enough time for the project. Stakeholders can include IT staff, end users, executives and external stakeholders such as vendors or clients who use your information systems. Do your best to identify the people who will be most affected — and disrupted — by the transition, and get them involved from the beginning.
- Establish realistic expectations. Management won’t be enthusiastic about your project if you’re blowing cost and time targets, so make sure they’re realistic from the beginning. Cox Business can help you put together accurate projections.
- Identify issues. The project manager maintains vigilance over the key concerns identified and uses a transparent process including regular reviews of budget and timeline issues and progress reports. Key concerns can include cost overrun, business disruption, customer impact, data security, UX training, staff reductions and stakeholder buy-in. This is also a good time to consider using benchmarking statistics to see if the company is underperforming compared to competitors due to technology limitations, or establish baseline benchmarks so you can demonstrate success later on.
- Know your compliance requirements. Your approach to data management isn’t just a matter of taste. Instead, it’s often determined regulatory requirements such as e-discovery, storage, security and privacy. In many cases, these are industry-specific. Health care organizations have to comply with patient privacy laws while financial businesses have to comply with reporting requirements. Cox Business specializes in providing solutions for clients in health care, government, education and finance, so you know you’ll get the system you need to meet the restrictions and requirements particular to your organization.
- Plan strategically and gather reports. Do you have a consolidated strategic plan? Many institutions don’t, but they all should. Take into account all future needs of IT with short- and long-range planning reports from all departments. Part of the discovery process includes a review of these reports by Cox, so you’ll have a comprehensive view of your organization. You can make sure you’re getting all the features you need while avoiding mission creep and increasing user buy-in.
A useful exercise is going through the following list with stakeholders to make sure all current and future needs are being met:
- Cost reduction
- Data consolidation
- Data security
- Big data analytics
- Storage review and retrieval
- Site-to-site collaboration
- Mobile apps
- Backup and redundancy
- Data centralization
- Improved website UX
- Systems standardization
- Cross-boundary collaboration
- Remote access and mobile computing
- Improved download speeds
- Scalability for growth
- Improved application deployment
- VoIP and unified communications
- Improved application deployment
- Flexibility for new technologies
- Increased capacity
- Simplified procurement
- Disaster preparedness
- Regulatory compliance
- Social software and social media
- Telework capabilities
- Distance learning and massive open online courses
- Research collaboration
Going through this checklist at the beginning of your process will give you a better idea of the scope of the project and potential problems with implementation, and can reveal areas where the project should be expanded to meet long-term needs. Starting out on the right track means everything will go more smoothly later on.