Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope
Person pressing TCO button

Short for total cost of ownership, TCO is the cost required to maintain and support a hardware or software product or service. TCO studies are used by businesses and schools to review the initial purchase cost of a product, and ongoing costs of usage and maintenance. In the case of purchasing, one or more computers below are some different hidden costs that should also be thought about besides the initial purchase.

TCO considerations

  1. Software - Most new computers also require additional software or software licenses for each computer.
  2. Maintenance and repair - At some point, all computers require maintenance or repair. The cost for parts and labor should be considered.
  3. Utility (power) - The power required for the computers, monitors, etc., should be considered. Sometimes, if upgrading from older computers or older monitors to new LCDs, your power costs may be reduced.
  4. Support and training - With new computers and likely new software, you'll need support capable of handling questions and training for the support staff and employees.
  5. Downtime - It's likely during the migration to new computers, you, your company, or school will experience downtime. If the computers make you or your company money, this may increase the overall cost.

The list above contains only a few examples of hidden costs that should be considered when purchasing one or more new computers. Your business, school, or a new personal home computer many have additional costs that were not mentioned.

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