Total cost of ownership in mobility

Total Cost of Ownership in Mobility

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a constant concern in companies. And it is right that it should be so. Hiring a product or service is never isolated. It always involves direct and indirect costs, which must be analyzed at the tip of the pencil, to decide which solution is most appropriate for the problem that the company lives. When it comes to managing enterprise mobility, this issue is even more complex. If you are living the challenge of planning a mobility project, we will help!

First of all, it is important for you to understand the logic behind the theme. Unfortunately, there are no cake recipes and what is good for one company may not be for another. By understanding the concept, you can tailor your planning to meet your needs.

The first step is to clarify why an organization department requires a mobility project. The IT area can not be confused with a waiter, who receives an order, runs and delivers a product without understanding the needs. Hiring solutions based on misperceptions not only generates waste but also compromises the strategic role of the industry. Instead, when IT clearly understands the needs, it can effectively collaborate to find appropriate solutions that solve the problem without waste.

To illustrate, let’s use an example of a sales department that wants to purchase an automation application from your team. In this context, IT can clarify some aspects, such as:

  • What problem does this department needs to solve?
  • What kind of app did they think and why?
  • Who will use it?
  • How does this team work today?
  • Is it necessary to develop an own app or is there a commercial solution that meets the need?
  • What is the technological level of the people who will operate the system?

By understanding this context, you can help the requesting area manager to reflect whether adopting an application is really the best solution to the problem. If the answer is yes, great! Follow the process of building total cost of ownership to identify how much this initiative will cost the company. This analysis will allow to reflect on the cost x benefit of the initiative. On the other hand, if questions have arisen, it is better to research a little more, because it may be that even a simpler solution can solve the problem efficiently.

Going forward, we understand that for this team to use such an application, there are a number of direct and indirect costs that need to be evaluated. They are the ones that will make up the total cost of ownership. Some examples:

Acquisition cost of the final software:

  • Will the app be developed or licensed?
  • How many licenses/signatures will be needed?
  • If it’s a commercial app, is there a need for customization? What is the cost of this customization?

Cost of acquisition or allocation of mobile devices:

  • What requirements does the chosen application need to function properly?
  • What type of device, brand, model, and operating system version are ideal for meeting this need?
  • Will this device support the evolution of the application in the next two years?
  • Will it use a database?
  • Should the server be hosted internally or will it be used in the cloud?
  • If internally, what are the hardware and software requirements of that server?

Deployment cost:

  • Who are the people necessary for the deployment phase of this solution?
  • How many hours approximately will it take for this step (calculate the time investment as well)?
  • Does the pre-selected vendor help with the deployment step?
  • What is the cost of deployment if outsourced?
  • Does this app depend on other software to work properly? If so, what is the cost of related software?


  • Will there be training for the team that will use the application?
  • How many hours will it take to train this team?
  • Does this training cost anything?
  • Will there be training for the IT staff to provide support?
  • How many hours are needed to empower this team?
  • Does this training cost anything?

These are just a few examples of what your total cost of ownership can make up for your business application. Do not forget to include in your account the acquisition of mobile device management (MDM) software. It will be essential to ensure that your entire investment will not be a waste because of misuse of equipment. And to analyze the mobile device management software, the same analysis should be done.

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