3 ways the military can save money on technology
May 18, 2020
We often think of technology in the military as being above the logistical issues we associate with large corporations, e.g., purchasing and integrating new technology. But that’s simply not the case. Military branches depend on technology to conduct operations, and they have a fixed budget. Typically, they employ request for proposals (RFPs) and rely on the company that wins the bid to deliver on time and on budget. But what are some ways technology in the military can go outside the RFP model and get tech for less? Glad you asked.
Customer stable model (CSM)
One of the biggest costs associated with purchasing any technology is what is known as “recurring knowledge cost.” Essentially, technological improvements occur so rapidly that the shelf life of products is shrinking. If you think about smart phones, the maximum shelf life is 12 months. For organizations like the military, who routinely make multi-million- and billion-dollar investments, a one or even two-year shelf life is just not feasible. CSMs offer guaranteed product lifecycles (including support), so organizations can invest long-term with confidence knowing exactly how long they have before they’ll need to purchase new hardware.
“White box” solutions
Buying hardware directly from manufacturers can be expensive. While the products and support may be good, another option for those looking to get tech for less would be purchasing white box hardware. The term white box refers to computers or servers assembled and sold by smaller third-party companies. The cost is typically reduced because the components are purchased at wholesale prices and third-party company margins are smaller than those of the hardware manufacturers. At the end of the day, this model can provide much cheaper solutions for any consumer.
Hybrid solutions are appealing for a lot of reasons. Traditional on-premises servers are expensive to buy and house, and must be maintained and managed by IT staff, which is also expensive. Cloud solutions aren’t without risk either, since the architecture is completely reliant on the internet, which makes them potentially more vulnerable to breaches. That’s what makes the hybrid approach so appealing; it leverages the strengths of both on-premises and cloud, while mitigating their weaknesses to boost redundancy, security and flexibility. Oh yeah, and it’s potentially cheaper, too, because a lot of cloud providers allow customers to pay for services by the hour and avoid expensive retainer fees.