Over the last few years I have seen a really disturbing trend with my clients – they make purchases based on some assumption of future activity. They acquire a software package or hardware and get all the extra little “features” and plan on implementing these add-on or ancillary features at some later date. The problem lies in the fact that between the time they make that purchase decision and the expected time to implement these additional features business models change, priorities change, and they never get around to implementing these neat new features.
Maybe I am a pragmatist, I prefer to think of it as realism. With the pace of change in information technology and the acceleration of launching new business solutions – why would you acquire anything IT related that you don’t absolutely need for the immediate future?
Take for example this scenario –
A company needs a software distribution solution. They have narrowed it down to two solutions, Widget or Widget Pro. While Widget Pro brings a bevy of new features like integrated Chat and a special remote control function for iThingies, as well as enhancements to some core services like software metering and reporting, it costs $100 per user versus the $25 per user cost for Widget. Though the company doesn’t need the integrated chat or the remote control functionality today, they go with Widget Pro and they plan to implement them over the next 12 months.
You can look at this a couple different ways – 1) they just paid $75 per user for 2 features they won’t even install for up to a year; or 2) they just spent $75 per user for two features. I would stipulate that in either case this was a bad business decision.
IT pro’s and Management can avoid falling into this trap by being clear about their business and technical requirements, realistic about their ability to execute future implementations, and utilize a 2-4 (yes 2-4, not 3-5 – that is the new standard and I will explain why in my next blog post) year roadmap for IT. With these tools, you can focus on making the best choices for your business and conserving resources by choosing the solution that is “good enough” for your business, instead of wasting money and time on solutions you really don’t need, and might not even get to deploy.
Contact us for assistance in making the right business decision for your company.