The Undeniable Value of Time

by | Oct 11, 2021

Throughout my life, I have been what I like to call thrifty (everyone else calls me cheap). When something breaks, I would rather try to fix it myself than waste money purchasing a replacement. I can keep things hobbling along for years so that they are good enough:  bicycles, cars, computers–you name it. These habits served me well in my youth, when I was pecuniarily challenged and had to make every penny count. Instant top ramen noodles? Good enough for me, thank you!

Don’t Waste Money
The skinflint mentality followed me into my software career. I eschewed spending money on software when I could help it.  Why spend thousands of dollars on a commercial library when, dadgum it, I was smart enough to write the code myself (or lead a team to write it). If I need to convert a bunch of unstructured text data into an Excel sheet, you would absolutely NOT find me spending money on a tool to do it. By golly, I would write the automation myself (often taking longer than simply typing in the data by hand, I am embarrassed to say).

Though I matured personally, and gained experience at both work and life, I still held to these work ethics. In my view, money is precious, and I would rather do the hard work myself than part with it. I simply cannot back down from a challenge when it comes to saving money, even if I end up cutting off our nose to spite my face.

Don’t Waste Time
Then, I got married and had a family. I got wise to the fact that money was not the most important thing in the world–not by a long shot. Spending time with my precious family, being there for my kids through the good and bad times, and sharing life experiences that were rewarding for all of us shot to the top of the priority list. I converted to an economy of time, rather than money. I gave myself permission to pay a hard-working, local business person to mow my grass periodically, because that freed me to spend time at my kids’ athletic events or dance practices and recitals. Pay for grocery deliveries? Formerly anathema to my work ethic, I now consider it a no-brainer. The nominal fee means more time to spend with my family.

That is how we should think of IT automation as well. We all want to be as operationally efficient as possible. We know that automation is a key to reducing costs while increasing quality. However, we there’s a tendency to balk at the cost of commercial software. Being smart IT people, we think that we can build those automation features ourselves, since our needs seem so simple, so we cobble together open source solutions and spend time writing scripts to achieve the results we think that we want. But then the business comes back and asks for more.  There are errors that need to be chased down, new features to add, and tweaks you didn’t think of the first time around.

Who wants to bother with that?  Before long, you find yourself spending your most precious resource — time — on those features that the commercial products offer. Those commercial products were developed over time by subject matter experts with many years of experience. They come with support to help you solve problems quickly. They’ve tested the product and keep it updated. They invest their time in their product so you don’t have to.

Make an Investment in Your Precious Time
Like time with a family, your time at work is valuable. Costs to develop, maintain, and enhance home-grown solutions quickly spiral out of control. And, more importantly, there are significant opportunity cost of wasting time on home-grown solutions rather than spending time on your business. That has been our approach to the nearly two decades we’ve spent developing and improving our secure, automated file transfer platform, Diplomat MFT. And the logic becomes even clearer when you see that Diplomat MFT is the best value on the market, priced at less than half of its competitors. In fact, while Diplomat MFT is robust enough to handle large-scale files and batches, it’s priced low enough that you can’t justify the DIY approach on a cost basis.

Time is precious.  Let our software automate and secure your file transfers, so you can have your time back.


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