First rule of cost cutting: If it ain't broke...

This not-for-profit organization brings in a new CIO after a series of interim IT bosses has come and gone, reports a pilot fish on the scene. First order of business: Streamline the IT operation and cut costs.

"Among other things, the new CIO got rid of an in-house help-desk application," fish says. "Yearly license fee for it was probably $50,000 to $60,000. It was a bit buggy, but it was working, was fast and has been working for many years."

The replacement is a modern hosted solution that's an, um, bargain at $1.5 million a year.

In fact, $1.5 million does start to look like a bargain price after a while. The switchover is gradual (translation: takes forever). There's lots of customization to fill in some holes in the hosted solution's functionality, and data is imported piecemeal.

Finally the new system mostly stabilizes. After a few months, there's just one remaining problem: User unable to log in.

"Today, the problem still unresolved, one of the admins opened a help-desk ticket with the vendor, to resolve the hosted help-desk software problem," says fish.

"Did we save money? Probably not. Does the new solution work better? Maybe, except the login problem. Did someone make a good commission? Definitely maybe!"

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