July 2006

Framework for Making Technology Choices in Today’s Context

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Taking informed decisions on IT spend is vital to sustaining competitive edge in today's hypercompetitive business environment. The decisions themselves have become complex given the pressure on IT departments to “Do More With Less”. While providing the greatest possible cost effectiveness is a key goal, IT also has the responsibility to make sure that focus on cost effectiveness does not shortchange the essential “abilities” of IT – reliability, manageability, security, and interoperability.

Revisiting the abilities
While there has been historically a focus on reliability, security and manageability on the part of IT, it is worth noting that these abilities were defined and metric-ed in the days of largely monolithic IT architectures and in the context of associated vendor solutions. So, it is worth re-examining these abilities in the context of today's IT realities.

Further, given the multitude of choice among platforms and the focus on the part of vendors to drive interoperability, heterogeneity is a reality even in fairly unsophisticated IT shops. In light of this, any IT decision needs to factor in interoperability as it is provided by a vendor as well as a roadmap associated with the same.  

While Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has become the “acid criteria” to a large extent in the minds of IT decision makers, some of the fundamentals of this concept are being ignored in practice. For example, a large percentage of IT decision makers admit to taking an IT decision using acquisition cost as the key input when assessing an IT solution's TCO

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