It is from here that the conversation either devolves into an arcane technical monologue or ends up with a quote being presented. Then silence. From there it moves on to placing the quote in a pile and hoping it goes away or a purchase order is issued.
What is missing is one simple question that every CFO should ask. The magic question – “Why?”
The correct answer to the question should not involve a detailed technical listing of features and speeds. Nor should the answer be – “because our servers are old”.
The two things a CFO needs to request are a justification and alternatives.
Justification as in business justification and an explanation of “what if we do not do this now?”.
Alternatives as in – did we consider cloud servers? Virtual servers? Cleaning up our current environment? Reallocating processing resources? Centralized storage? Outsourcing the application? Software as a Service (SaaS)? Any other alternatives? Then ask to see the analysis and make sure it is produced.
With the way technology has evolved over the past five years there is no way that a CFO should ever OK a new server without a real justification and knowledge that their IT people have carefully considered alternatives.