FCW Insider

Blog archive

Is the boss nickel-and-diming your IT operations?

A guest post from John Monroe, editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week.

It’s only human nature: An old clunker of a laptop computer doesn’t seem so bad when money is tight. Especially to the manager who has to watch the bottom line and who doesn’t mind waiting two minutes for a PDF document to load.

It might not be ideal, but it’s good enough.

Many of us use the same rationale when it comes to buying a car. Faced with our own tight budget, we are willing to put up with a growing number of glitches until the cash outflow becomes intolerable – or the junker simply breaks down.

The problem is that in the workplace, such decisions might have unintended consequences. At what point does old technology go from being an inconvenience to being a productivity problem?

Unfortunately, it’s tough to put a price on productivity, while the price tag on a new laptop is visible for all to see. Putting off the inevitable purchase might only save a nickel here and a dime there, but do that long enough and it all adds up.

Worse yet, in the current budget environment – which might be getting much worse in the months and years ahead – “good enough” is likely to be an evolving standard, and not for the better.

Is your agency cutting corners on IT operations? And what are the unintended consequences?

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:18 PM


The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 Cowboy Joe

Lame as an "article", but interesting as a conversation starter... there're a few college boys and girls out there who've done some pretty detailed studies on statistical breakpoints between maintaining and replacing. (It might be surprising to some how fast a business can get to the point where maintenance costs exceed replacement costs.) Probably should'a looked some of those up and cited 'em in the article...

Fri, Nov 18, 2011

Very interesting article. If you have an employee that earns $50,000 a year and has to wait 2 minutes for a document to load only 5 times a day, after a year you have about $1,000 in wasted time. What does a new PC or laptop cost?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group