The irony of the modern organization is that while technology suffuses all aspects of execution, its very ubiquity makes it somewhat “invisible.”  Similarly, in a house or building, the electricity and plumbing are key but are hardly considered when buying, selling, or occupying.  Often, “popularity” is in inverse proportion to importance.  We think more of manifestations than of essences.

This is not altogether unnatural.  Often, the systems that we actively use and interact with are more interactive than the core infrastructure; what has to be understood, however, is that the right infrastructure enables the “systems of engagement” layer that we understand and are familiar with.  Infrastructure is the foundation.

Take a basic case like email.  We “interact” with our email through some sort of front-end and in our shorthand, we think of email as “Outlook,” “Gmail,” or some other equivalent.  We tend not to think of the hardware and software infrastructure–that could include transoceanic cables, satellites, routers, and other “large devices”—as part of our email “experience.”

For most technology users in an organization, their jobs don’t depend on understanding the technology infrastructure that they ultimately rely on.  However, acknowledging it is important- to understand the IT Team and its role but also to understand how complex organizational technology decisions are.

For this very reason, organizations of all sizes depend on partners whose core role is to connect and translate a business team’s needs and future plans to a technology infrastructure architecture and decision framework that both serves current needs but also extends into the future.  These partners can be successful only if given enough flexibilty and trust.  The symbiosis between customer and partner in technology is invaluable; absence of symbiosis augurs poorly for long-term gain.

To be a technology infrastructure partner for a growing organization with bold goals is to be entrusted with one of the crown jewels.  Technology and data infrastructures connect directly to the long-term sustainability of any modern business.  With technology and business converging into a singularity, getting the “building blocks” or “plumbing” right is essential.  The incorrect decisions can ab initio lead to endless expense and wastage of resources. 

The importance of infrastructure cannot be overstated.  Whatever business you’re in, it’s worth making the right investments now.

Written mutually by Romi Mahajan & Dharmesh Godha.