It's a great question, isn't it? If you're a full-time employee, or maybe a long-term contractor, then you may not have to worry too much about the expenses side of things.
Typically, IBM Power Systems are in larger environments for businesses that have a sense of the value of robust equipment. That means bigger teams and - more often than not - that puts you (the techie) at arms-length from the money people. But let me give you a hint: the more the people who control the purse strings value what you do, the better your job security.
"Show me the money"
Now how do you articulate that value?
Here's how not to do it: list your skills and technical experience. It's far more effective if you can articulate the value you provide. That doesn't mean only at a job interview. It could be when a project is being costed, or when your team's budget is being revised.
Let me give a few examples, and I'll use IBM Power Systems running AIX.
Keep the technical under the covers
Supposing you're chatting to a finance person, who is non-technical. You could explain what you did in technical terms:
I tuned the performance of the disk on by setting the queue depth attributes.
At this point, the non-technical finance guy is semi-comatose. You've lost him.
Instead of speaking about what you technically did, translate it into what it meant for the business:
I did some techie magic which meant that you get your monthly reports by 10 am instead of waiting around till the end of the day.
(that was some queue depth tuning!)
Time is money
The boss of the service desk says:
25% of our tickets are to do with password resets on our legacy application running on AIX.
Now, you know that you could easily outsource passwords to Active Directory. So do you say this?
I can set up Kerberos which will synchronise with AD, but I'll need to change the registry and SYSTEM settings using chuser for the AIX users.
Wow! 25% of your tickets! That's a huge chunk of time doing a pretty boring task. Would you like me to look into wiping out all of those tickets, like forever? I could make the AIX user password match the password the poor people use to log in to their domain. What would that do to your service desk workload?
Articulate the value
Do you see what I mean? The reality is that most people aren't too interested in the technical side of what we do, but if we can spell it out either in money made for the business, or genuine increased productivity, or some other savings ("let me get all the data off that old system and then you can shut it down and cancel the monthly maintenance"), then you're easily able to show yourself as an investment rather than merely a cost centre.
The idea I'm suggesting here is that you embrace the business problem, spell out the business benefit - or the benefit to the end user - and you're in a much stronger position to protect your project budget, or maybe even your job, because you can explain how you solve expensive problems.
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