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The Jem Report: Total Cost and Benefit of Ownership: What It Really Means for Desktop Systems

Aug 27, 2003, 13:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jem Matzan)

"One of the most common buzz phrases in the computer press today is Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO for short. The term is relatively self-explanatory: it is a measure of how much your computer will cost you for as long as you use it, or how much it costs to own it. Previously this term was used in the auto industry to reflect how much money a new car would cost you beyond the sticker price--it encompassed maintenance and repairs, fuel efficiency, tire and brake life, reliability, and insurance and registration fees. Tallying up these costs and figuring in the amount of use and stress your car endures, you can get a good idea of what it will cost to drive it over a given period of time.

"How does this directly relate to computers? The same categories don't apply to electronic devices of this nature, so you can't use the same kind of formula to calculate TCO for a computer that you would for a car. So what factors should be considered?

"The Gartner Group has a specific set of (costly) tools to evaluate TCO in a range of large enterprise environments, but the results don't compare to and aren't useful for a home or small business environment. The purpose of this article is to help you determine what the TCO and Total Benefit of Ownership (what you're getting for what you're paying) is for desktop systems..."

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