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Ten tips for a successful DCIM Implementation

  1. Identify the business critical data centre operation problem or problems and then prioritise your key issues. Compile a set of DCIM requirements which are ‘must have’ and focus only on those.
  2. Understand that the success of your DCIM project depends upon the implementation of clearly defined processes and select project resources such as people and tools accordingly. Identify any areas of concern including people, systems and information and review your current processes to decide what you do and don’t like then use that information to define your desired process.
  3. Constrain the initial project complexity and you will dramatically increase your chances of a successful DCIM implementation so try not to expand the initial project, instead focus on meeting your most critical business problem or problems and establish success for those first. A segmented and phased project implementation will also help to minimise any impact.
  4. Only evaluate a maximum of three DCIM products/vendors. Describe your identified problems and desired outcome to the vendors and ask them to show you how to achieve those objectives with their product and support. Don’t be distracted by missing or weak features that may possibly be useful in the future. Rest assured that additional functionality will be developed by all vendors to meet competition and customer demand.
  5. Make sure that you select a trusted, reliable and experienced vendor who has a proven track record for delivering IT and datacentre solutions over many years.
  6. Identify and engage with all the functions within your organisation that could be impacted by the DCIM project. Get cross-functional agreement on business objectives and operational processes. Consider appointing a cross-functional project manager empowered to facilitate and drive the project to successful implementation. Agree on a project cost sharing model.
  7. Ensure you appoint a cross-functional team to own, support and maintain the DCIM system once installed. Then give that team the necessary authority to ensure that agreed defined processes are followed by all system users to enable data integrity to be maintained.
  8. Make sure that the chosen DCIM system is built with an open platform and supporting tools to facilitate possible future integration with existing systems, processes and databases without disruption. However, to avoid unnecessary initial complications, only consider integration with existing systems after your initial DCIM project is successfully completed.
  9. Ensure your people are trained and regularly monitor usage by assigning responsibility to your DCIM team. Consider asking your vendor to help train your staff or train trainers. Failure to follow defined processes can seriously jeopardise a DCIM project so assign a DCIM team member to monitor DCIM usage on a regular basis to ensure compliance by all user groups.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It is possible to independently configure and implement a DCIM solution but most organisations benefit from some training and assistance and vendor experience will make a huge difference.

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