With the tough economy and shrinking 401K’s, some of my co-workers at Trillium are starting to cut back a bit in personal spending. They talk about how expensive everything is and speak with regret if they don’t bring a lunch instead of buying one at the Trillium cafeteria. Until now, I’ve kept quiet about this topic and waited politely until the conversation turned to say, fantasy football. But between you and me, I don’t agree that there is a huge cost savings with making your own.
Restaurants can sell chicken parmesan for $15.99 and still make a profit because they have the system of making it that uses economy of scale. They buy ingredients cheaper, and because they use the sauce in other dishes, have ‘reusability’ working for them, too. They use the sauce in their eggplant parmesan, spaghetti with meatballs, and many other dishes, and that reuse is powerful. Most of the high-end technologies you choose for your company have to have the same reusability as the sauce for the maximum benefit. Using data quality technologies that only plug into SAP, for example, when your future data governance projects may lead you to Oracle and Tibco and Siperian just doesn’t make sense.
One other consideration - what if something goes wrong with my homemade chicken parmesan? I had little recourse if my own home-cooked solution were to go up in flames, except to get into even more expense and order out. But if the restaurant chicken parmesan is bad, you can call them and they’ll make me another one at no charge. Likewise, you have contractual recourse when a vendor solution doesn’t do what they say it will.
If you’re thinking of cooking up your own technical solutions for data governance hoping to save a ton of money, think again. Your most economical solution might just be to order out.