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 help review what the initial purchase of a product will cost a company as well as the ongoing costs of using and maintaining the product. 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.
- Software - Most new computers also require additional software or software licenses for each computer.
- Maintenance and repair - At some point all computers will require maintenance or repair, the cost for parts and labor should be considered.
- Utility (power) - The power required for the computers, monitors, etc., should be considered. In some cases, if upgrading from older computer or older monitors to new LCDs, your power costs may be reduced.
- Support and training - With new computers and likely new software you'll need support capable of handling questions as well as training for the support staff and employees.
- Downtime - It's likely during the migration of the new computers that you, your company, or school will experience downtime. If the computers are used to make you or your company money, this may increase the overall cost.
The above list is only a few good 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.