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E-Business in the Enterprise – July 29, 2003

The economics of application installation

By Sean Mc Grath

Let's play a numbers game:

1) Think of a number that approximates the cost per hour to your organization of one of your top IT professionals.

2) Think of a number that approximates the number of hours that person spends in an average month fighting with problems involving words like "path", "classpath", "registry", "shared library" or "dll" while installing applications.

3) Multiply those two numbers to get the product X.

4) Now think of a number that approximates the dollar cost of a gigabyte of disk space. (Hint 1 dollar is a good number here[1].) Call that number Y.

5) Divide X by Y.

Let's compare numbers. I arrived at a figure in the hundreds of gigabytes. You too? I thought so. Interesting isn't it? Skilled IT staff are worth many hundreds of gigabytes of disk space