I have worked in places that create Rube Goldberg solutions to problems. I prefer keeping the solution simple.

Many companies try to save money by not buying commercial software. They say “Our needs are simple”. However it turns out that their needs aren’t so simple. They want to do things with automation, have reports and do more sophisticated things. When you tell them that the commercial software has that they get excited until they see the price. Then suddenly its not important anymore.

Except it is important. They want to save time and be efficient, and you end up buying the software they should have bought in the first place. It is very common for companies to underbuy and overbuy software. They both don’t realize what they need, and they buy things they could never use.

It is funny really. One company I worked at didn’t manage their licensing well, and didn’t buy enough copies of commercial software. They were using it, but it was a license violation. When I brought that up to my manager it wasn’t important to address. Until the day that they had a software audit, and then my manager wanted to know exactly how many copies we had so we could be compliant.

Of course I had that information ready. I had argued this because I did research and discovered using some great management software how many licenses we were out of compliance on. I argue with facts, and if people don’t listen to them, ultimately they pay the price.

This is not to complain about past companies, but rather to say that the simple thing is to be compliant with the law. The simple thing is to give workers what they need rather than waste their time with workarounds and multiple clunky products. The simple thing is to invest in your staff and customers, so that you can be as efficient as possible.

To me, it is surprising. What is the use of saving money on software when you spend more on labor? Inefficiency never makes sense to me.

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Categories: Microsoft Opinion