Cost is always a concern when you’re buying new software. But it’s critical to consider not only software licensing costs but all financial components.

In this series of blog posts, I’ve been talking about systems lifecycle management solutions in particular. Whether you’re looking to invest in your first solution or thinking about replacing your existing solution, be sure to ask about licensing costs. But also be sure to ask questions like these:

  • What are the real costs associated with all the manual effort required to manage your IT environment today?
  • What are the costs and frustrations of having to juggle multiple point solutions?
  • Are the risks of a security breach or the costs of lost productivity becoming too high to ignore?
  • Is your existing systems management solution too complicated to use or too expensive to upgrade?

A Complete Financial Comparison of Systems Lifecycle Management Solutions

For help identifying and quantifying all the cost factors involved in executing a successful systems lifecycle management implementation, look no further than “Best Practices in Lifecycle Management,” a paper from Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. (EMA). This report provides not only a detailed functional comparison of the four most popular systems lifecycle management solutions on the market, but a complete financial comparison as well. It explains how to evaluate all the cost components:

  • Pricing model — This includes the list price, which varies from one-size-fits-all to graduated pricing tailored to the size of your organization. It also includes the annual maintenance costs to keep the product up to date.
  • Infrastructure costs — How much additional hardware and software you will need varies widely from solution to solution. The paper will help you calculate the costs associated with all the server-plus-OS configurations, client access licenses, database licenses and maintenance contracts each solution requires.
  • Operational and training cost — Systems lifecycle management products that require more infrastructure will almost certainly require more people to administer that infrastructure. How many more people will you need to add to your IT staff? What will it cost to train them? Is there a way to get around adding staff?
  • Non-computer device support — With more smart, non-computer devices connecting to your network, lifecycle management now extends beyond PCs and servers to devices like printers, projectors, scanners and even universal power supplies. Only two of the four products offer this functionality, and the paper compares the associated costs. If you choose a product that doesn’t support these devices, be sure to consider the costs of managing them (or failing to manage them) outside of your systems lifecycle management solution.

For each of these costs, the paper builds out a total implementation cost based on size of organization, number of servers, length of maintenance contract, number of locations and other variables. It’s easy to follow and it’s designed to help you pencil out your own costs.

Get your free copy of “Best Practices in Lifecycle Management” and review EMA’s detailed cost comparison of the four products, including Dell KACE appliances.

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