Is Over-Tooling Causing Over-Charging?

Jesse White

First and foremost, this is not ChatGPT. This is me admitting I have a problem, if you are wondering what problem, keep reading…

I have 11 different drills in my woodshop. An impact Milwaukee for the annual Golden Eagle tire rotation, a light weight Makita for small spaces, a 90° DeWalt cabinet drill just in case, etc. Right tool for the right job, right?


While there's nothing more satisfying than having what I need when I need it, it comes with lots of challenges.


💰 These tools require significant upfront capital.

📦 These tools require lots of space.

🔋 These tools require different batteries.

🔌 These tools require different chargers.

🛠️ These tools require maintenance.

🧠 These tools require knowledge to use them.

The Six Technology Afterthoughts

In my travels at Katalyst, I’ve seen many great organizations brought to their knees as a result of being over-tooled. Over-tooling has not discriminated against specific verticals, client sizes, or in house talent levels. In my opinion, the problem is exponentially amplified as client size grows. The six critical afterthoughts I see clients realizing are as follows

Upfront Capital

These tools require significant upfront capital - and many times come with an on-going cost. In some environments, we’ve seen organizations invest in tools that have 2 commas in the upfront spend. While these are usually associated with our larger clients, they compete with true business initiatives in the land grab for budget.


These tools require lots of space – whether it is on premise, cloud native, or somewhere in between, these tools can take up critical room in your environment. Whether you are using heavy forwarders or virtual appliances, this fact is undisputable.


These tools require lots of batteries – While not literally let’s hope, they do require much energy to keep them going. Do you have a SME for the tools? How many people use the tool in house? Is it a single user or small team? Does your tool require regular visits from third parties to keep them optimized?


These tools require lots of different chargers – and you better keep them plugged in to your environment. It is critical that your tools are well integrated with your systems and bring forward visibility you wouldn’t have natively. You could go as large as Snowflake, or as small as a simple up/down monitoring platform, your tool’s primary purpose should be to enhance, not complicate, your business.


These tools require lots of maintenance – and if you don’t keep them up to date, you better be ready for the repercussions. We’ve seen the hacks, we’ve seen the vulns or needing a feature only available in X.Y.Z version. We are all aware of the challenges of running any enterprise software platform and the must dos to keep it healthy.


These tools require knowledge to use them – and the benefits are unrealized without it. In so many organizations, tools hold organizations hostage because their intrinsic value can only be realized with human intervention. If you are dealt with a talent shift or shortage, your tools are going suffer with it, greatly. 

Tooling Investment Challenge

If you want to take a moment to get vulnerable, here’s a relevant ‘tooling challenge’ to validate if your organization's tooling investments square.

Answer these three questions, honestly, and spend some time reflecting on them.

  1. Add up the initial investments of your software associated with tooling:(enter amount here): ___________
  2. Have you ever sat and wondered if all your alerts are being actioned upon?
    Circle Yes / No
  3. Name the last time one of your tool outputs/metrics made it to an executive leadership meeting.
    Date / Impact: 
I’ve been told that the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a tooling problem, you are not alone. If you’d like to understand how other organizations are shedding unnecessary tooling costs and moving their business forward, we are here for you.
If you know you have a problem and want to begin detaching from it, I’m happy to arrange a meeting where one of my team members can share the insights we’ve learned from helping other clients.
If you don’t have a tooling problem, I’d love to talk with you and understand how I can publish your book and take 10% of your earnings as your publisher! If you do, and you want to learn more about building your own tooling splatter diagram let us know.
Jesse White

VP, Strategic Partnerships Jesse leads the client and business development teams at Katalyst. His experience spans multiple technology platforms and infrastructure. He is skilled at helping customers solve business challenges, navigate market trends and make smarter decisions with disruptive technologies.