Cover by Gary A. Donahue

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Maxim #3

There are a finite number of reasons why a company will fund changes to an existing network. The reasons are surprisingly simple and fairly obvious:

  • Lower costs

  • Increase performance or capacity

  • Increase reliability

Unless you can prove that your idea will meet one of these goals, chances are you will be denied the funds you need.

Note

GAD’s Maxim #3: Companies only spend money on IT projects that lower costs, increase performance or capacity, or increase reliability.

Let’s explore the three goals.

Lower Costs

I once worked for a large telecom company that had DS3s crisscrossing the globe. The network was perfection in terms of design. Every node had multiple network entry points, latency was acceptable, resiliency was excellent, and downtime was extremely rare. The network was as close to perfect as we could make it, and my team and I were very proud of the work we had done.

One day, word got to me that the network needed to be changed. More specifically, I was told we needed to cut $1 million from the budget. The choices were telecom or personnel. Welcome to the world of business—I was told to either destroy my perfect network or choose who should be let go.

My team and I went to work, and we managed to redesign a network with a $12 million annual cost into one that was almost as good, but cost only $10 million annually. We were never as proud of this network, because it involved a lot of compromises that we didn’t believe in, but the company saw this as a victory.

The point of this ...

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