President’s Corner

Making the case for attending a conference in the first quarter of an uncertain business year may not seem all that easy. When budgets are tight, there’s extra scrutiny of every expense and budget managers expect to see clear value for every dollar spent. So what’s the business case for attending SHARE?

I’d venture to suggest it may be stronger than ever before.

Start by identifying what your organization wants to achieve in the next 6-9 months. Perhaps some of the following:

- Using what we already have in more efficient and more productive ways

- Reducing server and storage deployment and management costs

- Improving access to business information (data)

- Using Software as a Service (On Demand services) to avoid costly increases in software license and maintenance fees — or to reduce current fees

- Improving data center service management and performance

- Shortening the time to deliver new projects and applications

- Improving IT processes and adopting more industry-standard best practices

- Choosing the optimal time to deploy new software releases and understanding the added value of those new releases

- Cross-training on key skills and technologies to optimize the contributions of individual staff members

- More effective use of middleware to integrate the diverse hardware, software, and applications in your enterprise

- Better leveraging service-orientation to meet the needs of the business

Or perhaps you have other initiatives that are high priorities for your CIO.

In any event, the next step is to identify the SHARE program content that is relevant to your organization’s objectives. As you peruse the on-line agenda, I’m confident that you’ll find dozens of sessions that align well with the goals you’ve listed.

Finally, do the math. Let’s try a hypothetical example. Look at some of the events you’d need to attend to address the first 7 goals listed above.

Event

# of Days

Registration Fee

Estimated T & L Costs

Total

5th Annual Virtualization Conference Expo, New York City

2

1,995

1,800

3,795

IDC Software as a Service Summit, New York City

1

895

800

1,695

Enterprise Data World, Tampa

5

1,795

1,800

3,595

Data Center World, Las Vegas

5

1,605

1,700

3,305

Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, Orlando

3

1,895

1,500

3,395

Gartner Business Continuity Management Summit, Chicago

3

1,895

1,400

3,295

IBM zExpo

5

2,295

1,800

4,095

Total Cost

23,175

You’ll have your own list of alternative events that might be necessary to address the specific goals you’ve identified.

Now look at SHARE.

SHARE in Austin

5

2,045

1,900

3,945

For members, the registration fee is even less. And there are options for additional discounts for multiple attendees from the same organization. If 5 days is too long away from the office, choose the 3 days that have the most relevant sessions and reduce your costs even further.

When all’s said and done, the business case for SHARE attendance is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Identify your organization’s goals
  2. Find the SHARE content that addresses those goals
  3. Do the math

SHARE has enterprise IT all under one roof … in a single week … for a single price. It’s the best bargain around to deliver the greatest impact for those scarce budget dollars.

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