Cheap Is Not Affordable

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffett

I’m often asked how companies can save money in their IT budget. Often that question is a lagging indicator of poor value (perceived or actual) realized from technology. Typically, whether $1.00 or $1 million was spent, if the product contributed to business goals, was easy to use and performed well, the cost isn’t questioned. If the product broke frequently, performed at molasses speed and ergo inhibited progress, then it was too expensive.

  1. The price tag is not the total cost. I’ve seen companies pay $80K for products that end up costing $2.5 million. Know what it’s going to take, all in, not only to implement but to maintain. Only then can you estimate value.
  2. Focus on alignment, effectiveness and quality, then efficiency. Which business strategy will it support, and how? How will the desired results be realized? Will it integrate with other technology? Is the product usable? Is the vendor viable? These are more important questions than “how much is it?”
  3. Open source is free like a puppy. In other words, it’s not free. All solutions need to run in an environment, be managed and maintained by trained professionals, and might require third party services. All those things cost money.
  4. DIY is free like a litter of puppies and a baby elephant. Think long and hard before building something yourself if there are viable products in the market. See #3 plus factor in that DIY creates special snowflakes that need to work in an ever-changing technology system. DIY is the ultimate and most costly customization (see also #5).
  5. Customization = cost inflation. Once a product is altered, then every upgrade, every integration from then on requires extra work in development and testing. This will inflate costs faster than Venezuelan currency. Every customization should be questioned as to its necessity to achieve business goals.

“Many receive advice; only the wise profit from it.” Harper Lee

Worth considering:

On October 21, Halloween came early for the internet, providing a big trick without a treat. DNS provider Dyn experienced a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. The internet shook; degradation and outages ranged from giants like Netflix to providers of pet locator devices. What was remarkable and should get everyone’s attention is that the attackers used things, like web cams, to perpetrate the attacks. As this interesting article points out, the things that were used in the attack became polluted.

According to Morgan Stanley, autonomous technology could save the freight industry billions. Most of that will be in staff reductions. Is the future of work as we know it doomed?

Encourage all #social #CIOs and technology leaders to join #CIOChat every Thursday 2 p.m. ET on Twitter.

It’s still October, which is cyber security awareness month. Education is key to employee and consumer cyber safety.

Just because I like the quote: “Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.” Hunter S. Thompson

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