We walked down the hall and found, pushed to the back of the top shelf of a rack in a storage closet, were six NAC appliances in all their glory. They obviously weren't being used. A little more digging and I came to understand that the project had been mothballed. Why? Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on a solution just to stuff it into a storage closet? The answer is that it didn't fit within the strategic vision of the company and the initial implementation plan didn't fit within the current security policies. Could it be resurrected? No. Could we get our money back? No. Why was it still here? Depreciation.
Sometimes we make a misstep in selecting a piece of technology. Sometimes we make a misstep in how we initiate technology project (and consequently they fail). And sometimes the vendor makes a misstep when releasing technology. A university I work with recently bought Cisco's new ASA CX Next-Gen firewall module. If you followed the link you saw that it is already End of Sale. It seems like it was on the market for, oh, about 3 weeks when they bought Sourcefire and put CX in their taillights. It happens. As IT professionals we are attempting to find a technology based solution to meet business needs with the ultimate goal of saving or earning more money for our business. Sometimes they don't mesh as well as we'd hoped. But what do you do to turn a failure into merely a misstep?
- Can the project, or the technology, be modified for little cost to meet the original goals?
- Possibly you bought, or were recommended, the wrong model switch or access points. Possibly you misunderstood a particular feature. Either way, you may be able to simply add a license, change out a piece of hardware, or enhance it in some way to meet most of your original goal.
- Can the technology purchased be used for some other purpose that still benefits the business or organization?
- Buying the wrong solution isn't always a complete loss. Few of us work in environments where everything is as new and shiny as we'd like it. If you bought the wrong model server with not enough RAM or too few processors there is no doubt there is another place in your environment where it would be welcomed. Planning a large switch roll-out for your primary site and then finding out it can have 0 downtime means those switches get moved out to remote sites and they get upgraded a year or two sooner than planned.
- Can the technology be used in a way other than you initially intended?
- You were planning on using your new Nexus 7000 switches to upgrade your core and replace your EOL FCoE switch but discovered during implementation that the storage team actually meant pure FC (Fiber Channel) and not the FCoE (Fiber Channel over Ethernet) they previously stated. What now? Still replace the core and add a small Nexus 5000 switch for the FC access and uplink to the Nexus 7000 with vPCs. You'll add more redundancy and higher throughput.