When bean counters start counting things they don’t understand the value of.

I’ve been having a discussion with an old friend, who’s telling me of a large financial institution that have suddenly started getting very picky about spending on IT. Maybe it’s the financial environment right now – the tabloids are desperate to paint a doomsday scenario where all the banks are on the verge of collapse, whereas in reality it’s just a blip out of the norm…

Anyway, this scenario is driving the IT people crazy – instead of investing in IT, the accounts department is back to thinking about how they can reduce the spend.

The other day, I was talking about the Gartner-inspired Infrastructure Optimization models and how they can be used as a way of trying to show what value investment in IT can have – maybe this particular company needs to step up a gear to show their bean counters how short term it might be to slash budgets and expect people to just muddle along.

Reminds me of another story about a company whose penny pinchers decided to stop ordering stationery supplies for the stock cupboards on each floor in the building – the idea was that if you had to go to a designated Keeper Of The Stationery Supplies in order to get something, you’d bother rather less and stop being so wasteful.

What happened in that instance was that people spent so long wandering the halls looking for staplers/pens/paperclips etc, that the move to save a few $$ simply caused huge frustration in the end user and probably cost them a fortune in lost productivity too.

I first came across this particular scenario when I saw a spoof video lampooning the draconian stationery rationing measures.

The company was Microsoft.

Stationery supplies were reinstated in the ensuing months.

Sometimes it takes ground-floor people power to make the spreadsheet jockeys take note 🙂

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