“I’d like a Ferrari please!”
“Certainly Sir, may I ask why?”
“Because I want to have something fast and has prestige so that I can promote my success and enjoy the driving experience.”
” Have you considered a Rolls Royce? They definitely have prestige and will promote your success. You will also be able to drive at the legal speed limits in comfort.”
“No, I think the Ferrari has the right image for me thank you.”
Obviously this person does not have budget constraints and wants to show the world that they have achieved success. Did they really want something fast? Maybe, but most importantly, they desired the Ferrari, that is what they want not what they need and they are in the position to afford themselves that luxury.
What about the regular car market? Let’s compare Hyundai and Volkswagen. If we assume they both have the technical features that you need, what would be factors in choosing the vehicle for you?
You might base your choice on price, quality, image, desire, running cost or recommendations. But how do the vendors sell their products? They do not both compete on price. They may use prices and offers as a sweetener but you would expect to pay less for a Hyundai. Value, quality of service, branding and extras are some of the differentiators that might be used to sway the decision of the prospective buyer.
What does this have to do with IT? The industry giants are not likely to compete on price, they will pitch at a price that matches their features, value, quality of service and branding. If a product is cheaper then it is cheaper for a reason. Free, community supported software may suit your needs but don’t expect the same features, support, security and quality as you would get from paid software.
The price of licenses can seem extortionate for enterprise level software and cloud services but consider what you are getting for your money. Oracle have built a business based on database software with a long track record of providing feature rich and reliable solutions. Microsoft have an impressive history in their Windows operating systems which continues to be a market leader. Buying this amount of complex software engineering developed over decades by thousands of top quality staff has great value and is not likely to be cheap.
Switching products, migrating systems is an expensive and complex move. You need to ensure that the features you need are available and that risks of migration are managed. You may need to change expectations on availability, performance or support. So before opting to choose a less expensive solution, evaluate the true cost and value to your business.