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Rising Corporate Costs

Corporations are starting to look at the bottom line, especially with the current unsteadiness of the market. Cost is a significant issue for companies that now have to justify spending millions on Internet connectivity.

You've heard the claxons: If you don't get on the Internet, you'll be following, not leading, the future market. A lot of companies have stepped up to the plate, only to find that the expected fastball of success has been more like a curve. The rules of Internet connectivity differed from what the companies were expecting.

For example, companies often have a central Information Technology (IT) group that handles day-to-day infrastructure maintenance. Services such as networks, firewalls, servers, mainframes, databases, and so on cost money, and the IT department often manages those costs, materials, resources, and personnel. Then IT charges back the services to the requesting groups. No money really changes hands; it's all within the company, and some professionals have termed it funny money.

Well, the internal clients are not finding it funny anymore. Some monthly costs range from $200–500 per month per connection. With midrange desktop computers costing as little as $1,100 each, organizations are now considering alternatives.

The alternatives are as surprising as no connectivity at all. In fact, many clients have found that their users really don't use the file sharing available on the network, and the Internet is not a requirement for many people's jobs. The only capability the users need is a printer. So some groups are basically telling IT, "We're buying about 4,000 computers at $750 each, and don't worry, we'll take care of them ourselves." At $400 per month for IT support, the group can recover all the costs in less than two months!

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