In my role at Grafana Labs, I speak with a lot of engineers who feel the pain of their organizations’ lack of consolidated observability – so much so they set out to solve the problem themselves. Often, that search leads to Grafana, and after a quick exploration of what an enterprise feature or cloud solution can provide, they’ll get in touch.
We work with them on data collection and help them start a trial. But even when the POC solves their issues – connecting previously siloed monitoring tools in a single chart, reducing the effort required to create custom metrics, linking metrics and logs in the same dashboard, etc. – in many cases, the engineers are asked questions like: Why can’t we do this with our current tools? Isn’t it free? Do we really need this?
They’ve explored the ecosystem, eliminated alternatives, and demonstrated that their preferred option solves the issue. But when it comes to getting buy-in from upper management for wider adoption and a Grafana Cloud or Grafana Enterprise contract, they’re stuck.
As it turns out, proving the technical case is only half the battle. That’s why an important part of our role, with both existing and prospective customers, is to help engineers build successful business cases for Grafana Enterprise or Grafana Cloud.
With that in mind, here are some tips we’ve collected from going through this process hundreds of times, with everyone from the largest companies in the world to exciting, fast-growing startups.
1. Demonstrate the value to your company. Decision-makers want hard numbers, so look to quantify what’s happening. Can you define the time and cost savings from your trial, and extrapolate out those savings to the whole organization? For example, one telco reported that Grafana Enterprise helped its team triage issues faster, saving $8,000 per minute – or $10 million a year.
2. Understand the value to you. Keep in mind that introducing a problem-solving tool benefits your company, and more importantly, you. That conviction will shine through in your presentations and conversations with stakeholders. One of my champions who brought Grafana Cloud into his major semiconductor firm freed himself from toil – and also landed himself a promotion.
3. Find an ally, or mentor, higher up in your org early on. For many engineers, navigating the politics and bureaucracy within companies is not part of the job description. Instead of setting out on your own, find a manager (or director or even SVP!) to support your cause. This person will likely be directly tied to internal initiatives – e.g., cutting costs, moving to microservices, or decreasing MTTR – that benefit from Grafana. Figure out what they care about, and we can quantify success metrics to test in the trial. You’ll make your manager (and yourself) look great.
4. Don’t forget the power of the dashboard. For the engineering team at a national insurance company, showing Grafana to both the technical and non-technical executives was the most powerful argument. Demonstrating how they could now solve problems with Grafana immediately – as well as the flexibility and visual appeal of the dashboards – sealed the deal. Often we run into executives who don’t believe the time to value based on their experiences with other technology. The best response? To show them what they want in 95% less time than they thought possible.
5. Let your sales rep help you. Navigating bureaucracy, quantifying problems, and generating business cases are our strengths. We’re here to discuss how other customers solved these exact problems, collaborate on presentations to your board, arm you with answers for your leadership, and direct you to impactful resources to share with stakeholders. If you want Grafana, we’ll partner with you every step of the way to make it happen.
Interested in finding out more?