Total Cost of Ownership is “a methodology that allows you to measure and understand the costs of acquiring and maintaining all of your networks, computers, devices, and staff.” (CoSN)
When making plans for the school district’s desired state of technology, it is imperative that IT leaders are aware of all the costs associated with purchases. As stated above, the district has most likely incurred some of the costs already, but new costs may arise as new technologies are introduced.
Scenario: A district transitions from ceiling-mounted data projectors to televisions mounted on the walls. Adding an electrical receptacle behind the television ensures no electrical cables are exposed. A wall mount and speakers are also needed. The remote control for the television is another necessary component which must be tethered to the television to prevent loss, and a supply of batteries must be available. Additionally, the disposal costs of the ceiling-mounted projectors should be accounted for.
In this scenario, one might think that the television is the only item that needs to be purchased. However, the hidden costs for each television include:
Put all proposed purchases through the Total Cost of Ownership lens to ensure there are no unexpected costs. In the following “considerations” section we have broken down district technology into different categories and listed TCO considerations for each:
Considerations for Internal v External Repairs:
Will the district be maintaining the client devices internally or will a device protection contract be taken out on devices? Here are some considerations for each scenario:
For either scenario
As many schools shift to digital learning, they are seeing a sharp reduction in printing-related costs:
Moving to a digital environment results in cost savings by reassigning allocated funds for paper-based resources to digital resources. Updates to curricular materials happen faster, and digital resources offer more non-linear content, embedded checks for knowledge, and dynamic opportunities for engagement.
Workforce planning and the calculation of the total cost of ownership for technology support is essential in building a solid sustainability plan. When calculating for positions, the usual salary and benefits may be calculated, but there also may be hidden costs that you have not included, such as:
Another cost that may be overlooked is the cost of the educational system if the technology issues are not remediated in a timely manner. If there is loss of work and production, hidden costs could appear with emergency services rendered.