In a previous blog post, I suggested a few points to hopefully help justify network infrastructure. However it's good to concede that a high-performance and intelligent network infrastructure is not the only solution. There may be other ways to solve the problem. To have a persuasive pitch, you have to acknowledge that there are alternatives and show that you have considered them. Of course then you have to reveal their inadequacies – if you can.
Once the facts are gathered, the costs and shortcomings found in the proposed solution, and a case built based on economic need and common sense, it's time to prepare your proposal.
Start by telling how much the network infrastructure will save the company. Then give examples of past projects that would have been done more cost–effectively if the high-speed network had been in place. Giving a short history lesson on the growth of networks, application packet sizes, PC processors, user expectations, and bandwidth requirements over the last and next three years should help with the story.
Next, present the worst–case scenario if the network infrastructure isn't built, then conclude with a step-by-step explanation of the analysis you used to arrive at these conclusions.
Finally, just in case your arguments spark enthusiasm, it's a good idea to have a high-level implementation plan on hand to give an idea of what will be involved.
The analysis has either produced a sound, justifiable and hopefully unassailable case for investing in the new infrastructure or upgrade, ….or a reasonable explanation of why the project just isn't feasible. In either instance you win. Understanding why a purchase doesn't just make business sense will build your credibility just as much as knowing when it does. It also makes you aware of the types of systems and pricing that will make sense.
If your analysis shows that building your chosen infrastructure isn't a sound business move, don't give up. Instead, calculate a price at which it would be a good buy. Then present that figure to your vendor (be fair – we have to make money too!). You never know, there may be room for negotiation!
Even if there isn't this will give vendors like us, information to help better fit our solutions for the market. We really do appreciate the chance to evolve and welcome your feedback.