The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Computer Networks in Colleges

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The Case of Higher Learning Institutions in Rwanda

Most of educational institutions are ill prepared to cater for the entire range of financial requirements in relation to their technological equipments.

Institutions manage to gather funds for the initial acquisition, but the actual implementation of an ICT project enshrines many more additional costs than those included in the initial acquisition.

In the majority of cases, operating costs, costs related to maintenance and technical support are not properly budgeted for.

Our study assesses cost components of a computer network within a tertiary educational institution in the context of developing countries.

It uses a newly developed financial tool, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to measure costs involved in the acquisition, use and maintenance of any ICT equipment.

It focuses on 7 cost-components: (i) hardware acquisition, (ii) software acquisition, (iii) retrofitting the old buildings, (iv) technical support and operations, (v) administration and professional development, (vi) end-users’ operations and (vii) downtime.

The study provides useful guidelines to managers in higher learning institutions that can help them control costs relative to each of the seven cost categories.

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