The laptop situation really only affects you, whereas the White Castle situation affects us both equally.

I’ve written previously about the risks and benefits of vendor consolidation, and yesterday I came across another blog entry about the same topic over on VMware’s blog.  As cloud and virtualization force organizations to review their internal IT strategy, the idea of vendor consolidation gets pushed to the forefront. 

While many organizations look to their vendors to help educate them and provide advice on new technologies that can help address their organization’s needs, often it comes with a bias towards selling more advanced solutions that you may not necessarily want or need.  It is thus critical for you to independently do your research to make sure that the right solutions are being proposed and that they are part of industry standards.  The last thing you want is to implement something that is overly complicated or has limited scalability.  You also can’t expect that the vendor knows all the details about your environment and interconnected systems, and thus can’t assume that they will be able to identify potential conflicts that could arise from implementing new technologies.

So does it make sense to work with your vendors to create your IT Strategy?  We can all agree that every vendor has some bias towards their own product. After all, if you look at larger organizations such as VMware or IBM, both have made many acquisitions to help enhance their product offerings.  The benefit is that as new products become integrated, they become part of the supported ecosystem.  This means you can add more functionality and as long as the equipment is supported, you can (hopefully) expect less incompatibility issues.  Additionally, there is merit in listening to the consultants from your key vendor partners as they might have insight from other installations that they’ve come across.  It’s definitely worthwhile to pick their brain about complimentary solutions that fill any gaps in their product line.

But at the end of the day, no matter whether you decide to consolidate on a single vendor or use best-of-breed across multiple vendors, the decision has to be made internally and in line with the organization’s goals.  There’s a reason your senior technology team exists, and this is where the expertise in defining your next generation technology solution needs to come from.

To read the entire post, visit http://blogs.vmware.com/accelerate/2012/06/why-you-can-rely-on-vendors-to-help-create-your-it-strategy-.html

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