7 Tips for Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership When Acquiring Applications
Recently cited information from the technology firm CNET reveals that roughly 49 percent of IT projects suffer from budget overruns, and 47 percent suffer higher than expected maintenance costs. It’s imperative that companies identify and properly plan for all expenses associated with replacing a business application to avoid these costly mistakes. Here are seven ways to help you go about this process.
1. When considering replacing your software application, ask yourself the following questions during the due diligence process:
* What applications will be considered, and what functionalities are required?
* What are the major milestones and time frames necessary to complete the project?
* What’s the total cost of ownership necessary to complete the project?
2. When asking a vendor to submit a formal proposal, include all the vital information necessary to receive a detailed proposal. For example, in the case of an order management system, vital information includes, among other things:
* peak and average figures for the number of concurrent users;
* order volumes by month, with the peak week;
* average lines and units per order; and
* the number of customer records.
This information isn’t only necessary in identifying the licensing, but also the proper sizing for application and database servers.
3. Analyze the vendor proposal painstakingly. For items such as training and implementation services, understand the number of days being proposed and what roles or tasks will be performed by the vendor. Be careful of terminology like “the normal training days are X” or “the standard project management days are X.” Make sure the “typical” or “standard” days are sufficient for your project.
4. Understand the vendors’ license maintenance and support plans and when payment is due. Many vendors charge these fees once the application is delivered. Some maintenance plans can be as high as 20 percent of the MSRP or originally proposed license fees.