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So you’ve selected a vendor system, and you are ready to begin the implementation. Everything seems nearly perfect: the vendor can do (almost) everything you need, your two-week due diligence has surely proven everything out, and the vendor has done this before. Lo and behold, you and your team are under pressure to get this project underway and live, as well as another, even larger and more important project that just came in on Friday.

What do you do? Do you consider your vendor a true partner and delegate tasks to them to help keep the project moving? How much trust do you place in the vendor? Will they look out for you? Will they consider your specific needs and strategy?

As IT leaders, it’s crucial to ensure that your organization’s architecture and processes are designed to meet your unique business objectives. However, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of relying on vendors to define these critical elements. While vendors can offer valuable guidance and expertise, it’s essential to remember that their primary goal is to promote and sell their own products. In this blog, we’ll discuss why IT leaders should take a more proactive approach to architecture and process changes and avoid letting vendors take the reins.

Understand the Vendor’s Objectives

When working with a vendor, it’s essential to recognize that their main objective is to get their product as integrated into your environment as possible. This may happen rapidly or slowly, depending on the contract you’ve agreed to. Ultimately, the vendor’s focus is on promoting their solution and delivering on their commitments with minimal work, which may not always align with your organization’s best interests.

Take Ownership of Your Destination

As an IT leader, it’s crucial to own your organization’s architecture and process changes. By taking the initiative and being proactive in defining these elements, you can ensure that they align with your organization’s long-term goals and objectives. This will enable you to create a more sustainable and effective IT environment that supports your business’s growth and success.

The goals with systems should be to speed up business processes and value while minimizing complexity and, hopefully, reducing it. Don’t sacrifice by adding additional technical, process, and strategic debt – someone has to pay this debt off in the future, and that someone may be you.

Not All Abstractions Are Necessary, but Consider Alternatives

While not every aspect of your architecture requires an abstraction, it’s essential to keep an open mind and explore alternative solutions. By doing so, you can ensure that your architecture remains flexible and adaptable to changing business needs. Don’t be afraid to challenge vendor recommendations and explore other options that may be a better fit for your organization.

Maintain Control Over Your Processes

While vendors can offer valuable insights into industry best practices, it’s essential not to let them dictate your organization’s processes entirely. Some of your processes may directly influence a process or data need that drives or will drive market differentiation. By maintaining control over these processes, you can ensure that your organization remains competitive and innovative in the marketplace.

Vendor Architecture and Process Management as a Meme

We love humor and analogies here at MBT.

So imagine your company is the various shapes, and the vendor is the sorter. Enjoy.

In conclusion, IT leaders should be cautious about relying too heavily on vendors when defining their organization’s architecture and processes. While vendors can offer valuable expertise, their primary objective is to sell their products, which may not always align with your organization’s best interests. By taking ownership of your destination, considering alternative solutions, and maintaining control over your processes, you can create a more effective and sustainable IT environment that supports your business’s long-term success.

If you need talent, experience, and skills to realize your ideal state and be your advocate, contact MBT at