What's a Lot of Money?

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  • We have regular virtual floor briefs where the CEO and at least one other board member tells us what we are doing, how we are doing and various other points of interest.  There is always a Q&A session that can be entered into the chat window with participants clicking on the question they like best.

    I'm not backwards in coming forward with my questions but some of the questions really make me wince.

    One excellent question was about the money saved by having people work from home and the answer was that compared to the normal operating costs of the business it's a drop in the ocean.

    I think that financial visibility and education within any organisation should be important.

    • How do we make money?
    • What is your part in that?
    • How can you improve your personal ROI for the company?
    • What matters less?
    • What builds reputation for a publicly listed organisation?

    Sometimes it is about revenue generation, other times it's about cost savings.

    A bit of financial education can help you put a business case for things that would help you, or at least determine if there is a business case.

    • The cost of a licence to view information in system 'X' is £££
    • The cost of engineers attempting to solve problems with a lack of information is £££££££

    By the time 3 or 4 people have had to work on a resolving an issue due to poor instrumentation or access to information  the cost of providing that information soon pales into insignificance.

    It's a useful to be able to articulate the cost/benefit of a course of action, whether it is mitigating a problem that is persistent of even growing

     

  • I've never known how much money was spent to purchase software, or servers, or services, etc. The higher ups don't feel obliged to tell us. And this practice has been going on for years. So, I can't answer your question.

    What has surprised me is when they'll purchase X, when they already have Y that does the same thing.

    Rod

  • I think it's easy to lose track of what an organization owns. We see this all the time at Redgate, where one org has licenses for our tools, but some inside the org don't know. We've seen customers purchase our monitoring tool (or another one), when they already have the other one.

    For me, for most of my career, I had to get approval before spending anything, and really, anything over like $50 was a pain. At some point, as a manager, I could go to $250, but that was it.

    When I worked at a utility in 1991, we bought a server for US$250,000. I couldn't believe it. Wasn't sure it was worth it, but it certainly made a lot of our work easier.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    When I worked at a utility in 1991, we bought a server for US$250,000. I couldn't believe it. Wasn't sure it was worth it, but it certainly made a lot of our work easier.

    When I started out in the mid 70's I got a contract to build something relatively large for a big Times/Forbes top 50 company. It ran to about £10,000. This was a very narrow / specialist vertical market product

    Other big Times/Forbes top 50 companies (because only very large companies had a need for this very narrow / specialist product) were interested, but one in particular poached the architect of the original system from our first client. "We are IN" 🙂 ... or so I thought.

    We quoted £20,000 ... 🙂

    ... turned out that they had hired consultants who had advised them to buy a Wang Mini Computer, which they had already bought by this time and that had cost then £200,000 ... of course our software didn't run on that, it needed about £5,000 of "Micro computer" ... so the Consultants then advised them on the program they needed (I hate to be uncharitable but "Mate's of theirs"), and that cost £200,000 to build ... and it never worked well.

    A decade later they head hunted a new Department Head, happened to get one from a company which, by then, was one of many using our software and ... very first thing he did was to throw out the expensive, not-function, Elephant and put our system in 🙂

    The only time in my life where a quote has been a "nought short", and I still regret it to this day!

  • WOW, Kristen, interesting story!

    Rod

  • In 1995, I worked as a contractor for a small company that had a 13 year old IBM System 36 running their accounting system. It was slow, and had some limitations that were a pain. I did a little research, and suggested they upgrade to a small AS/400, which would have cost about $12k, and the software vendor  would provide the software and conversion as part of the annual maintenance, since they wanted to get out of supporting System 36. I presented the numbers to the guy I reported to, who promptly told me "We can't do that, the System 36 was $80k, and the company owner wouldn't want to get rid of it, since anything that expensive had to be used for 20 or 30 years". I was not upset when a better opportunity came along, and I left.

    Moving to today, I spend part of my time working on SAP Hana databases, and was in a conversation recently where someone asked if we thought 400 cores and 20TB of RAM would be enough, or should we go bigger. Now that's a server!

  • I'm amazed both by what companies will and won't spend on things.  Million dollar budget for implementing a new CRM?  Sure, a few thousand to get a drain installed in the server room so the AC can run without having to have it's water tank manually emptied?  Nope.

  • Heh... "What a lot of money"?  It's the same question as "What's big data"?  It's something that you've not had to handle before. 😀

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • ZZartin wrote:

    I'm amazed both by what companies will and won't spend on things.  Million dollar budget for implementing a new CRM?  Sure, a few thousand to get a drain installed in the server room so the AC can run without having to have it's water tank manually emptied?  Nope.

    ZZartin, I'm sorry, but that made me laugh aloud. I'm sure you're experiencing pain at that kind of attitude, so it was wrong of me to laugh at your dilemma.

    Rod

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    ZZartin wrote:

    I'm amazed both by what companies will and won't spend on things.  Million dollar budget for implementing a new CRM?  Sure, a few thousand to get a drain installed in the server room so the AC can run without having to have it's water tank manually emptied?  Nope.

    ZZartin, I'm sorry, but that made me laugh aloud. I'm sure you're experiencing pain at that kind of attitude, so it was wrong of me to laugh at your dilemma.

    Add another water tank!

     

     

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  • Those buckets to catch water from the AC, so it doesn't drip onto the servers is so funny!

    Rod

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    Those buckets to catch water from the AC, so it doesn't drip onto the servers is so funny!

     

    LoL fortunately this is years ago and the company is no longer in business so the trauma is long in the past.

    The issue was they significantly ramped up the number of servers they needed(see million dollar CRM implementation) and the building AC could no longer handle it.  So they brought in a heavy duty portable AC, which did have a tank but would shut down when it filled up.  So basically every monday or just every weekday if someone forgot to empty the tank before going home we'd come in and the servers would be beeping with heat warnings..... which is super fun if you had a late night and the server room is open to get the temp down and the server room is right next to the IT room....

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