The Hoot - Episode 15 - Humio VP of Finance Juho Lahdenpera
February 19th, 2020
This week, John talks with Juho Lahdenpera, VP of Finance at Humio. Juho shares his thoughts about joining Humio, and the value the role of finance brings to a tech organization. He stresses the importance of doing a strong technical audit of IT systems to make sure everything is accounted for, compliant, and reporting properly.
Juho shares his thoughts about how best to work with finance. When asked how best to prepare for a budget request for a technology-related purchase, Juho shares a framework that will help get a purchase approved.
He explains that most budgets are created with the current annual cost being the basis. What was your cost last year, how much did you spend? That would be the baseline for the following year. And then you’d be asked to make reductions or additions in a prioritized way.
Coming from that viewpoint, it can be hard to get something new approved. Juho explains that in most cases, the answer is always “no” before it is “yes.”
How to get your new hardware or software request approved by Finance
Juho shares that you’ll be better prepared to show you understand the costs and benefits by answering the following before requesting something new:
Is the solution the right one? Get at least three quotes to make sure you’re really getting the right deal, and you understand the tradeoffs.
Understand the real costs. There are costs beyond the invoice, like additional servers, support, training. Do you need to hire additional people?
Articulate the value generated for the company. If you can’t articulate that value, why would you buy it? Without highlighting the value, it’s just additional costs, and it’s not worth it. Show how the purchase results in faster delivery, lower headcount, less hardware, or better service to your customers.
What is the cost of not having it? Demonstrate why the company can’t not afford to make the purchase.
Stress the urgency. Why do you need it now? Why not wait until next year? Exceptions can be made if there’s business value.
Juho wraps up the conversation by offering some career advice for someone just getting started. Listen in to hear his suggestions.