The age old question of buying or renting applies to housing as well as enterprise IT.  We can thank the cloud for that.

When considering purchasing a home, purchasing on-premise IT solutions (hardware and software), or purchasing anything for that matter, one must take into consideration the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  TCO is one of those acronyms that has proliferated the enterprise IT market over the past year due large in part to the trens for IT to do more with less.

Buzzword or not, it is an imperative these days for technology vendors to effectively prove how their solution helps lower TCO whether that solution be a system, software, or even a component like a hard drive or SSD. Messaging TCO is easy, proving it is another story. What end users need are real world case studies, impartial benchmarks, customer testimonials, and calculators.

All of these forms of content are difficult to create. They not only require deep customer insight and collaboration, but the willingness of the customer to tell their story, and in today’s competitive world where the use of technology could be a competitive edge, that may be easier said than done.

One thing to look at is 3rd party calculators like this one from Software Advice. “This calculator lets you analyze the total cost of ownership (TCO) for an on-premise software system and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system. We’ve pre-populated it with an example case. Adjust those fields based on pricing details you receive from software vendors.”

Image by Cloud Computing Journal

It takes into consideration 8 different variables, according to this Cloud Computing Journal post:

Of course, no calculator is a single source of truth for every company looking for evidence of TCO, but they are helpful in guiding the decision.

At Seagate, we have been focused on building our TCO story for our enterprise hard drives and SSDs, and one thing is for sure: it’s not a one and done scenario.  It is an evolving story that differs from one customer to the next.  We have started fairly high level talking about the obvious variables:

And, are now building on the story diving into variables like services and support, supply, and integrated features (data disposal, encryption, rebuild, tiering, etc.). Building this story will take deeper partner and customer engagement. Understanding customer costs both fixed and variable as they apply to how they design, purchase, deploy, and operate their storage infrastructure will ultimately lead to a stronger link to TCO.

We are already working on customer stories, and heck, we might even create a calculator…if our partners and customers want one.

How are you measuring TCO?

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So, can the cloud help your business?


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