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I've been having a hard time at my current company getting access to sites, tools, and even internal data that is directly related to job duties I am expected to perform. This question sums up some of it..

In short, I develop tools, scripts, and reports...etc for a large operations team (~140 people), and will soon be taking on a 2nd ~50 person team and their client.

I've been pushing to try and get simple tools like a text editor that is not notepad (Visual Studio Code for instance), source control, an SQL database...etc So I can better perform my job duties, which are getting pretty tough considering the limits of most free web-based tools.

For example: I have had to spend the last 3 weeks sharding our data up between multiple free services because I hit the limits of the free web-based tool I was using to store it. This of course has broken every report and tool that relies on this data and will take much more time to completely fix. I have let my superiors know of this, and why reports and tools are unavailable...etc However, this affects the colleagues and leadership on the floor much more than the management I report to, and erodes confidence in my work being reliable.

My requests have usually been met with either avoidance (Never answered, questions dodged), or denial with the reasoning that an individual in the company does not see why I need these tools. This individual is the VP of operations, which makes this a tough case because she is very far removed from the problems I am trying to solve.

In what ways can I push for tools to enable me to better perform my job duties, knowing that those requests will be reviewd by an individual removed from the problems those tools aim to help solve?

Edit: This is not just a problem of paid tools, I cannot get approval for free tools either.

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    While this question ("How do I request new equipment for the office?") concerns physical equipment, the process is the same: make a business case for your request. I've voted to close this as a duplicate as I don't imagine answers here to be substantially different. – Lilienthal May 2 '16 at 8:22
  • Visual Studio Code & Notepad++ are free. SQL Server Express Edition can handle many needs and is free (assuming you have somewhere to install it). Perhaps your boss knows about this and is unwilling to spend money when they exist and fit the needs appropriately. – alroc May 2 '16 at 11:31
  • Also...are you really storing company data in a "free web tool"? Is that in compliance with your corporate rules & policies? – alroc May 2 '16 at 11:34
  • How do you currently develop tools if you do not even have basic tools available like a text editor, source control, etc... These are not things to "better" do your job. If your job is to develop any software then some of these are a bare minimum. – Brandin May 2 '16 at 15:32
  • @alroc They are unwilling to install free tools. – Douglas Gaskell May 2 '16 at 18:30
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Do some hard research. Estimate how much time (== money) it costs you of your daily time to work around free tool's limits. Estimate how much the paid tools will cost and how much time and money they will save. Do all of this very precisely and have figures ready for every point.

Then you lay this business case for a better tooling out to your managers. If your managers are worth their salt and not constrained by outside hard limits, you will get your tools.

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Make a good and proper constructive case for each of the tools you would like to request. Managers, CEO's and other leading positions often only see money. If you can make a case where you can increase efficiency by adding these tools, and therefor can increase profit or decrease overall costs. Then you will get their attention.

Give them an estimate. You can make these estimates over the course of several months or years. It's possible to increase efficiency by 4 or more times just by getting a proper editor to replace notepad. This on it's own would translate into employees being 4 times as efficient when they are coding. Even when calculating this vs the minimum wage of employees, you would most likely be able to write away the costs of the tool within a month. Each passing month from there would be pure profit for the company.

The above is just an example and doesn't have to be 100% accurate. However I'm sure you get what I mean. Give them numbers. They usually just care about facts and money. If you can prove to them that these tools can significantly increase productivity. They will be more than happy to provide them to you. If they are not, then there is not much you can do about this.

  • The editor is not a good example, as there are many extremely powerful editors which cost absolutely nothing (including the one used as an example by the poster). – alroc May 2 '16 at 11:32
  • @alroc I'm no expert at these things, However the point is that he needs to prove the worth of the tools he wishes to be purchased. If there are alternatives that do the same. I see no reason why I wouldn't take those alternatives. You cannot convince a company from making expenses that don't pay for themselves. – Migz May 2 '16 at 11:38

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