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I came across this artile on Harvard Business Review and it struck a cord.  I often sit down with the CTO of a large fortune 500 and and discover that their wallet has been closed for almost 8 years with certain purchases.

Just as the ecomony has changes in the last 5 years, so has users’ bevaviour.  Social networking, crowd sourcing, personal tagging.  Data growth as well.

To learn about the risks and costs of an existing system, the CIO can do such things as solicit user feedback, monitor industry forums, engage a research firm to do an analysis, hold discussions with the vendors, and use a tool such as the Strategic Grid published in 1993 by Richard L. Nolan of Harvard Business School and research associate Katherine N. Seger. That tool can help identify strategically important technologies whose utility is fading.

 Link

TCO is much more than the purchase of the software and hardware.