It used to be that the IT crew and facility staff were two separate entities, segregated in their silos and all the happier for it. That dynamic, though, is quickly changing as enterprises increase their deployment of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) and converged infrastructure (CI) solutions, giving the two sides more reason to work together.
That potential collaboration can open a wealth of opportunities for IT solution providers. Most have already developed strong ties with IT managers, proving their worth as trusted technology advisors. Forging similar relationships with facility managers can help lay the groundwork for high-margin solutions that tightly integrate facility management software with the data center. Once those relationships are set, IT solution providers can act as the liaison between the two sides, offering compatible and optimal solutions, explaining new acronyms and technologies to both teams, and easing the frustrations that naturally emerge in the face of change.
DCIM and CI have been around for a while but uptake is expected to grow during the next few years. DCIM solutions are typically defined as software tools that recognize IT components, such as servers, storage, and networking, as well as components from the facilities side, such as cooling units, power distribution, UPS, sensors, or generators.
Meanwhile, a consolidated infrastructure brings the management of data center components under one dashboard to help improve the efficiency and performance of IT systems. If your client happens to be transitioning to a CI solution, it would be a good time to start talking about DCIM. Not only will the software run more efficiently on the optimized data center platform, but clients are also more likely to support additional projects if they’re related to an ongoing initiative.
The emergence of sensor-driven IIoT solutions, and the potential for those to collect vast quantities of data, makes the tight integration of facilities management to the data center even more important. But until your client is ready to invest in those types of projects, it makes sense to invest in building relationships with facility managers. Understanding their pain points and daily challenges makes the process easier. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- UNDER PRESSURE: Every facilities manager lives under the threat of budget cuts. Use your relationship with C-level execs to make the case for DCIM, Integrated Workplace Management systems (IWM) and other solutions that help facility managers do more with less and maximize precious resources.
- EQUAL SHARE: IT managers often focus on the solutions that help them do their jobs better, while putting those that could improve the performance of another department on the back burner. Use your relationships with IT to make the facility manager’s case for the solutions he or she needs.
- GOING GREEN: Keep in mind that more facility managers are now in charge of their company’s sustainability efforts. DCIM and IWM systems include sustainability and energy management features that measure energy and water consumption; waste production, including greenhouse gas emissions; and sustainability performance metrics. Keep facility managers abreast of the latest solutions that make tracking those metrics and collecting the data easier and less time consuming.
- NEED IT NOW: Facility managers need real-time access to all the different points they monitor and maintain. Give them hands-on demonstrations of the latest DCIM solutions that can provide that deep vision.
Facilities will need IT more than ever, as their jobs become more reliant on technology and the power of new solutions. Use your relationships with IT, data center managers and CIOs to help facilities build up theirs. The extra work will pay off.