Most of us have made our product choices over the years with a firm eye cast on who held — and was likely to hold — leadership in the market.
It’s certainly smart thinking to keep a weather eye out on your local labour market in this way: your warning signs that technologies you use are falling out of favour and external resources will get more expensive comes from there.
Let’s be frank: times are going to get tougher, economically. IT leaders know that gets translated into “find savings, fast”.
So, if you’re making product decisions for the future, it should be with an eye on how to make your cost to own and operate into the future as low as possible. This is the concept of “total cost to own and operate”, or TCOO.
Sometimes this will lead you to the services market, whether that be in the cloud or with a traditional outsourcing partner of some kind. Other times it will mean bringing work back in house, or revamping portions of your infrastructure.
Here it’s important to judge what’s good enough for your enterprise’s needs, not what’s top drawer in the vendor marketplace.
Could you, for instance, use different routers? The Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto shifted from Cisco to NetGear, saving money and not materially affecting service. On a campus that had WiFi running everywhere in parallel with cabled connections to desks, the slight difference in availability was transparent to operations: redundancy was provided by having a parallel network instead.
In this era of smartphones, tablets, pads and ultra light laptops, more and more of us have WiFi in parallel for business reasons.
Slightly less quality disks in RAID implementations allow for cost savings and uptime simultaneously. So does work spread over multiple servers, each of which needs to be less robust to maintain service.
It is, after all, the same thinking the cloud providers are using. Shouldn’t you?