Technology – Cost, Risk, and Reward

As a trusted decision maker in the technology space, I am constantly evaluating the following three things. Cost, risk, and reward. When choosing the right technology to solve a problem, not evaluating all three areas is, at best, wasteful – and at worst, exceedingly risky.

Take for example the tried and true example of telephone service. What is the cost, risk, and reward profile of a standard copper-delivered (POTS) telephone service to a company? Well, the cost is relatively high, the risk is relatively low, and the reward is relatively low – it does what it’s supposed to do, and not more. But if we consider VoIP, now we have a lower cost, a higher risk (Internet issues may influence quality or availability), and higher reward (flexible vendor choice, mobility options, etc.). Risk typically increases as cost decreases for different solutions. If cost is the primary driver of a solution, then risk will likely be higher. When stability is the driving factor for a project or application, expect to pay a premium cost.

Whenever choosing technology for your company, always remember the three main decision points – cost, risk, reward – and choose wisely.