Being that my employer is a small, nimble, innovative software company, I especially liked this quote from CPS Energy CIO Christopher Barron:
"With software from smaller vendors, it can take 20% to 40% less time to implement, and if it works, it could save you between three and eight times as much. The catch, of course, is that it doesn't always work. But even failing seems to be cheaper than going with the big guys."I've always heard the adage that 'Nobody gets fired for buying IBM', meaning that even if you spend a little more, you're playing it safe by going with a trusted, well-known name. But the only projects I've ever heard becoming a colossal failure involve solutions from big name vendors with multi-million dollar price tags. And the really cool success stories you hear involve someone accomplishing something great with minimal budget.
Don't get me wrong - I know that many large businesses are run on big name solutions from IBM, SAP, Oracle and the like, but I think we need to be clear that the adage is not an axiom. That is, it's not self-evident. In fact, to some, it might even be nonsensical. Why would it make sense to spend 4x the amount of money to decrease your risk of over-expenditure?
What do you think? Does the adage hold up in today's economy? Will it hold up when we recover? Is it simply a question of finding the right solution for the job, or should it be part of a CIO's objective to put cost out in front of the decision?