How to Build an Industrial Data Ops DataOps Request for Proposal (RFP)

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In this special guest feature, Petteri Vainikka, Vice President of Product Marketing at Cognite, outlines how organizations should approach the RFP process to find a DataOps partner. Petteri’s professional career spans across enterprise SaaS technologies, where he has found himself at the intersection of emerging transformational technology development and its commercial applications for customers. Prior to Cognite, he worked in senior product management, marketing, sales, and general management positions for companies such as at Sumea, Rovio, Cxense and Ardoq. Petteri has a master’s degree in technology from Aalto University in Helsinki.

Choosing the wrong partner to drive Industrial DataOps across your organization is a bit like a bad first date. In the end, both end up going nowhere. The process of finding the right partner to help transform your company into a data-driven one takes time, careful consideration, and a clear understanding of what is expected – on both sides of the relationship.

Unfortunately, there’s no app (yet) to find your perfect Industrial DataOps match. The due diligence is on you, which is why it’s important to align your potential partner’s capabilities with your organizational goals. By selecting the solution provider who possesses the greatest competency within your domain area, the more likely you are to deliver the expected return on investment.

Use cases and evidence of past successes

You are about to enter a long-term relationship with your Industrial DataOps vendor and asking the right questions can reveal a great deal about the potential success of your data endeavors. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, asking the solution provider for information on their areas of expertise, how tailored their solution is for specific domain areas and whether they have any success stories to share.

Once you feel that they’re a good domain match, it’s time to test their technical expertise. Ask how their solution enables more effective asset management. Find out if they’ve previously applied machine learning solutions, or whether they’ve used hybrid AI to help other clients. And inquire as to whether they’ve tackled unstructured data before, perhaps when dealing with video or 3D images. As you would with any potential partner or new hire, check references and request a demo. The more you know, the more educated your final decision.

5 items to evaluate in your hunt for a DataOps partner

As most of us have learned at one time or another, some things look good on paper, but they don’t necessarily work out in real-life. Before signing on the dotted line with your newfound Industrial DataOps provider, it can be smart to create a checklist that covers the lifespan of the proposed collaboration. You’ve already inquired about use cases and references; here are five more items to tick off your list before sealing the deal:

1. Functionality

Assess the foundation of the software to ensure that it fits with your industrial data use case. Verify that you can connect it to existing and future data, and that various applications will be supported on top of the foundation – no matter the use case.

2. Solution architecture

You can’t just throw your existing IT architecture out the window, which is why you need to address your unique requirements upfront, to ensure that the Industrial DataOps solution provider is able to interconnect with your legacy environment.

3. Project support

A road map is essential to implementation, and you will need to answer to executives about time-to-value. Get this straight with your Industrial DataOps provider from the start so that you can evaluate the support that will be required (both internally and externally) over time.

4. Security

Security is the starting point for any data-related mission, which is why the Industrial DataOps solution must conform to your company’s security requirements. This is perhaps the most important thing you do.

5. Usability

To truly create an organization filled with data citizens, who easily access, use and share data, it’s essential for your Industrial DataOps tools to be intuitive and well-designed, especially for team members who are not data experts by trade. This will ensure adoption and scale – which are the keys to your eventual success.

How to make sure your DataOps partnership goes all the way

Once the Industrial DataOps solution has been implemented, it is important to maintain it. End-user adoption and support will depend on the reliability of the tools in place, and improvements and enhancements should not trigger downtime or lags in the data. Companies that prioritize maintenance of their Industrial DataOps solutions will have the edge, and greater support from the employees over time.

Your relationship with an Industrial DataOps provider will hopefully be a long-term one. It’s important that both parties put their future plans on the table so that you are aligned in how you will grow and develop, together. No partnership is without bumps in the road but doing your homework upfront to check for compatibility and shared goals can go a long way to make your partnership a perfect fit.

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