Keeping up with the Joneses

July 27, 2009
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The idea of benchmarking isn’t new. We constantly compare our homes, our cars, and our jobs to those around us. In business, the idea is embedded in our daily “to do” list as we strive to stay competitive and highlight how we’re different. For some reason, we continually feel the need to compare our performance against others in the markets and customers we serve.

And often, it’s for the good of the company. It’s through competitive benchmarking that we’re able to discover our strengths, identify the areas where we can improve, and ultimately define best practices for our company.

If you focus only on the cost, you are at risk of missing the value. When we talk in terms of pricing and value, we consider a number of factors:

  • What you get. A single-purpose solution may be cheaper, but if you add up the total cost of all you need to get the same result – are you still saving money?
  • Lifespan. Technology purchases are investments. What is the lifespan of your purchase and does it fit your organization’s long-term plans? Can you co-exist with multiple generations/releases?
  • No trade-offs. To receive equal performance or capabilities, do you have to make concessions on timeframe,

The idea of benchmarking isn’t new. We constantly compare our homes, our cars, and our jobs to those around us. In business, the idea is embedded in our daily “to do” list as we strive to stay competitive and highlight how we’re different. For some reason, we continually feel the need to compare our performance against others in the markets and customers we serve.

And often, it’s for the good of the company. It’s through competitive benchmarking that we’re able to discover our strengths, identify the areas where we can improve, and ultimately define best practices for our company.

If you focus only on the cost, you are at risk of missing the value. When we talk in terms of pricing and value, we consider a number of factors:

  • What you get. A single-purpose solution may be cheaper, but if you add up the total cost of all you need to get the same result – are you still saving money?
  • Lifespan. Technology purchases are investments. What is the lifespan of your purchase and does it fit your organization’s long-term plans? Can you co-exist with multiple generations/releases?
  • No trade-offs. To receive equal performance or capabilities, do you have to make concessions on timeframe, availability or another dimension? What is the total cost of those tradeoffs?
  • Support. What services are available to you as part of your purchase?
  • Reputation. How is the solution rated – by independent experts on qualities that matter to you?
  • Results. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. To make that point, when it comes to ROI, do you know if your “R” is ultimately larger than your “I”?

Let’s face it, the most valuable asset you have to help you keep up with—and surpass—the Joneses is your company’s data. That’s exactly what makes it priceless. What do you get from your data?

Darryl McDonald
CMO, Teradata