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Implement a Multi-Site IT System Like a Formula One Pit Crew

26 Jan 2015 by Shay Moser

It seems like victory is all up to the driver in a Formula One race. But without the pit crew, a Formula One driver can’t win a race or championship. It takes the whole Formula One pit crew—up to 16 or more people—to win.

Mechanics and engineers spend hundreds of hours designing, building, testing, and perfecting each aspect of the car. All of this time and effort comes to fruition when the driver uses his or her knowledge of the car and race experience out on the track. Yet it doesn’t end there. The pit crew has to quickly evaluate any problems with the car during the race, find solutions, act on them immediately, and be aware of any circumstances—like weather, fuel load, and tire selection—that could impact the execution. This is repeated over and over to keep the car and driver in the race. That’s how retail IT deployments need to operate to succeed.

A Formula One strategy

Race strategy is discussed in detail before any Formula One race. Every team member of the pit crew knows their role and works together effortlessly—from car engineers and mechanics to pit crew and driver.

Rolling out new technology to multiple business sites is a complex task that also requires coordinated and consistent collaboration from internal stakeholders, external partners, and third-party service providers. A multi-site deployment solution can provide control, accountability, and consistency among everyone from start to finish.

Formula One teamwork and skill

Just as a Formula One pit stop includes people to change the wheels, front and rear jack people, an extra person with engine start gear, and the lollipop man signaling to the driver in the pit, a large-scale IT deployment depends on teamwork from a number of people with particular skills. These include people and teams to do project planning and execution; product procurement and warehousing; integration of systems; logistics; deployment; disposition; and post-install support.

While your strength is retail sales, you may not be prepared to address all of the above IT needs in-house. The best route is to rely on one lead partner—or one turnkey partner to handle it all. This way you get to utilize multiple rollout partners without all the complexities, such as extra costs, red tape, delegation, misunderstandings, managing subcontractors, and risk if the project gets off track.

Formula One geararticle-pit-crew

Everything about Formula One cars is tweaked and tooled for speed—from the chassis and engine to the fuel—and they must adhere to rigorous technical specifications. Similarly, a successful IT deployment across multiple sites and cities is dependent on the equipment setup and timely, simultaneous deployment.

A strong project management office (PMO) is crucial to coordinate IT deployment activities and centralize communications. It’s important to have a vendor with extensive reach into your rollout city. This way, they do all the subcontracting coordination, and you won’t have to keep everyone on the same page. In addition, a strong PMO should have a far-reaching supply chain to provide your business procurement options for all hardware and software requirements.

Formula One speed

Auto races are often won and lost because of the pit stops and pit crews. In just a few seconds, many actions are carried out by a Formula One pit crew. IT deployments can never happen fast enough in a retail environment. The more sites involved, the longer the rollout will carry on.

That’s why any potential IT rollout partner or partners must be able to scale both system and personnel effectively before rollout activity begins. It’s necessary to strike the right balance between working repeatedly with the same team to deliver consistent results and the risk of burnout and overuse for larger projects. This also includes making sure subcontractors are on time and present for a timely rollout.

A Formula One win

Once a Formula One race has started, the pit crew maintains the tires and fuel throughout the race. After the race, particularly if anything went wrong with the car, the whole team looks at all the data and investigates what needs repair and what they can learn from it.

Following a multi-site IT system deployment, your partner shouldn’t take a seat in the grandstands. From strategy and expertise to equipment and ongoing maintenance, your partner should be like a Formula One pit crew you can depend on.

To learn more about a winning multi-site IT deployment, visit http://www.insight.com/us/en/solutions/multi-site-deployment.html or call 800-INSIGHT.


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