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The Underlying Reason for High TCO

Where a company's systems have especially high TCO, its systems were most likely deployed with only the following objectives in mind:

  • Functionality: The capability of a computer to perform the tasks and run the applications required by the user.

  • Performance: The capability of a computer to respond to user input as quickly as possible (often referred to as system response time).

  • Capacity: The capability to handle growth in concurrent users, amount of data processed, number of transactions completed, or other metrics.

After the systems were deployed, issues not directly related to these criteria cropped up—issues that proved every bit as important to users over the long term. These post-deployment requirements include

  • Availability: The system or application is there when the user needs it.

  • Ease of use: No complicated procedures to learn or remember.

  • Assistance: If the user has a problem, help is easily accessible.

  • Security: The user's work is protected from loss or unauthorized access.

In all cases where the TCO of a system is unnecessarily high, it's because the system or application was designed without taking into consideration the post-deployment user requirements above, particularly availability, security, and assistance.

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