True cost of ownership

Do you know the true cost of ownership of your IT infrastructure? 

As busy executives, we tend to focus on increasing sales, and we monitor that closely. However, we often forget that we do not need everything that the vendor may be pushing us to have i an efficient IT infrastructure. Your IT infrastructure should be making your business run more efficiently and not be dragging productivity down. 

Whether you are purchasing a computer (running WIndows, OSX or Linux) or specialized hardware, or a service, you need to consider the true cost of ownership and the return on investment in terms of productivity. Recently I read of a major corporation that indeed did a study of their true cost of ownership. To the cost of capital equipment (computers, routers, and associated hardware), they added software costs (including subscriptions) and support costs. This particular company had Windows, Apple, Linux as well as well as other workstations (Solaris, AIX, and OS/2). A review of support calls revealed that most of the calls came from users of one operating system. When one considers that each support call also means that an employee is not able to be productive because of a system failure, the hidden cost is even higher than the cost of the support person. So, the company decided to look at the needs of the staff and decided to use the least expensive workstation for most of the staff.  In the last year, they were able to reduce their IT costs by 20%. What the study also revealed was the more expensive systems had a lower long-term operating cost. While this may not be true in all cases, it is worth the time of the IT staff to look at costs on a long-term basis.  

In the case of this particular company, most of the employees only needed a workstation to log into a central server and look at mail or browse the internet or look at some databases on a server. They did not need fancy machines with expensive software. Older machines were pulled out of storage and Linux installed on them to replace failing machines.  In the past, there used to be a learning curve associated with moving to a new operating system but in recent years, Linux desktops can be customized to look and function like Windows or Apple computers. 

Are you surprised by the IT costs for 2018? Perhaps you should invest in having someone review your IT infrastructure and show you how you can save money in 2019. 

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