I’ve just been appointed the CTO of a small company with less than 10 employees. Companies of this size typically don’t have the luxury of hiring a professional Project Manager, hence the role almost automatically goes to the CEO of the company, since he is the product owner – Which creates a problem for me, summarised in the ingress of this article. But as the CTO, I’m also responsible for all IT choices, including infrastructure choices, so let me go through all of my choices below – Since these have consequences for the process we must follow.
Cloud systems such as Azure or AWS are amazing products, with a feature list covering everything you can imagine. However, they’re also ridiculously expensive, typically at least 10x as expensive as a simple VPS providing the same value from an application deployment point of view. At my last company we paid €5,000 per month for Azure, and probably something similar for our AWS account (Sigh, yes, we used both! Not my decision though!) – Let’s say €8,000 per month to make sure we’re within the boundaries and that I am not exaggerating. I told my developers back at that company that I could have ran the whole company on a handful of VPS servers from DigitalOcean paying no more than €200 per month in total. Nobody believed me until our CTO confirmed my numbers more or less by saying; « At my former company we ran a 300,000 EUROs daily profit FinTech company for some 200 EUROs worth of droplets from DigitalOcean. »