One of the common errors that many organizations make when it comes to technology implementations is over-engineering the solution. In the midst of trying to solve a particular problem, it can be very easy to overshoot the mark and end up with something that is unnecessarily complicated, expensive, or bloated. In the moment this doesn’t feel like a major problem but it’s something that unwinds over time. Your resources are constrained and any misalignment or deployment to something that doesn’t deliver ROI incurs an opportunity cost of what you could have done with that money.
This is especially prevalent in the education industry where budgets are notoriously tight and you have to make the most out of every dollar. Yet, we see overinvestment everywhere that we look – putting unnecessary pressure on the financial stability of the organization.
To illustrate this point, let’s look at a case study where we saved one of our clients over $3.2m with some early interventions relating to equipment scope.
The Perils of Overinvestment
Texas A&M University was looking to renovate two key buildings and install state-of-the-art A/V equipment to make for a better learning environment. As they set out to plan their construction efforts, they engaged with a design firm to help them execute their vision. This firm suggested various technological improvements that the client then brought to us for technical review.
Upon looking through the plans, we identified that in many cases, the solution was over-engineered, going well beyond what the university actually needed. By taking our time to understand the real needs of the different buildings and their context, we were able to suggest scope reductions that drastically reduced the cost of the new implementations.
Some of our recommendations included the following:
These examples show how some simple changes can transform the technological investment that you make as an organization. Looking at these plans and providing expert feedback, we were able to save our client millions of dollars while simultaneously creating a more standardized learning environment that was much more robust to change.
This all goes to show that it’s not always about getting the best of the best for the sake of it. Thoughtful investment comes down to understanding the objectives and engineering a solution that matches those. Overcomplicating things only ends up hurting your budget.
Selecting A/V Equipment That is Fit For Purpose
We pride ourselves on creating highly bespoke A/V solutions that are perfectly suited to the client itself and the context that they’re operating in. We’re not interested in deploying the most expensive equipment we can find just because the technology is exciting. Every dollar spent needs to deliver a return on the investment and be highly functional if it is to make a difference.
As such, we advise a number of our clients to return to the drawing board and identify exactly what they’re trying to achieve. Before we even talk about solutions we need to clarify how we’re going to measure the success of the project. The technology is only as powerful as the results it can deliver, so it’s not about pushing the boundaries of the scope in hope that you arrive at better leverage. Instead, we need to craft a solution that is fit for the purpose for which it was designed.
This is a much more sustainable form of capital investment and allows for more flexibility and agility over the long term. Instead of being stuck with an expensive and over-engineered A/V solution that is being underutilized, you can save that money and get something that delivers what it needs and nothing else.
This is not to say that we’re against state-of-the-art A/V setups by any stretch of the imagination. All we’re saying is that you need to be honest about your needs and objectives to make the right decision.
Don’t get carried away with the excitement. You’re looking for something that’s fit for purpose. Everything on top of that is a bonus.
If you’re looking for some help with your A/V setup, we’d love to help. Get in touch today and let us walk the journey with you. We might just save you millions of dollars which you could deploy elsewhere.
ABOUT CAG: CAG is a highly experienced IT consulting firm. With 100+ years of combined technology experience and business acumen, CAG’s team has assessed and helped improve the performance of more than 300 technology organizations and IT departments. By focusing on simple, meaningful, and practical solutions combined with straight-for ward analysis and recommendations, CAG’s team has experience in many regulatory and economic environments with companies and organizations of all sizes. CAG not only offers a deep understanding of IT, but its solutions are software and hardware agnostic. Whether a client is high growth or economically challenged, CAG can adapt to the complexities and nuances of that business. Based in Dallas, Texas; Columbia Advisory Group works extensively with clients throughout the United States. For more information, visit columbiaadvisory.com