The total cost of ownership (TCO) of implementing ICT in schools

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Implementation Issues | 1 Comment

Do not think for one moment that the cost of implementing ICT in schools is restricted to the cost of hardware.  When contemplating to bring technology into your school for the first time, or to expand its use, consider the following:

The total cost of ownership of ICT in a school is much more than the initial cost – it includes recurring and hidden costs.

Recurring costs of ICT are those that come back again and again, such as software licence fees and often exceed the initial cost.

Hidden costs are those expenses that you don’t foresee when you purchase ICT equipment, such as additional training.

The main cost of installing ICT in your school may not be the technology itself but rather that of creating an appropriate infrastructure.

Never underestimate the cost of training teachers to equip them with the necessary skills to use ICT optimally.

These thoughs were tweeted by @e4africa with the tag #ictschooltip.

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Total cost of ownership of technology in the classroom

Sunday, November 14th, 2010 | Cartoons, IWBs | 1 Comment

Count the cost before you buy!

 This comic strip was created by Kobus van Wyk using  MakeBeliefsComix – go there to create your own.

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What is the real cost of technology?

Saturday, November 13th, 2010 | technology | 5 Comments

The real cost of a piece of technology is much different from what is stated on its price tag.  The phrase Total Cost of Ownership – also referred to as TCO – is often used to emphasize the fact that the true cost of an item is made up of all the expenses incurred from the time you acquire it until you dispose of it.

Let’s use an analogy to explain the concept of TCO:

A woman shops around for an exclusive dress to wear on special occasions.  She finds one she likes and feels that she can afford the price on the price tag – the shop may even offer a discount.  The price she pays for the dress is the initial cost.

On her way home she suddenly realizes that she does not have shoes to go with the dress and buys a new pair; she also decides that new earrings and a necklace would enhance her beautiful dress.  These items constitute additional costs.

When she gets home and tries on the dress with her new shoes, the woman discovers that the dress is a bit too long.  Since she does not have the skill to shorten the dress herself, she pays a seamstress to do the job – she did not anticipate this hidden cost when she purchased the garment.

On the first occasion she wears the dress somebody spills a cup of coffee on it.  The label on the inside of the dress clearly says: “Dry clean only.”  She now realizes that she will have this recurring cost as long as she keeps the dress.

The total cost of owning the dress ends up being much more that the price she saw on the price tag.

When you consider the use of technology for your classroom, the same four cost categories apply: 

Before rushing out to bring technology into your classroom, do the wise thing: calculate the total cost of ownership.  Then figure out how you can make it happen.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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