What’s the true cost of your in-house server based software system?
As you search for software solutions to determine the right business decision, it is imperative to estimate your true in-house costs. Otherwise, you would not be comparing apples to apples. What you pay for Software as a Service (SaaS), or cloud-based solutions, such as POMeSYS (the software sold and supported by Twin Peaks Online), is clear: $X/month. Furthermore, what you pay to purchase your local server based software and what you continue to pay per month for its maintenance is also easy to see. However, that is not the whole picture. Our goal in this short document is to help you estimate the true cost of maintaining your hardware and your network software.
5 User Case Study
As a case study, let us assume you have a five-user local area network connected to a server where your program and your data reside.
- Your 5 workstation computers will need to be replaced with faster and more powerful ones every 5 years. We went to Dell.com and got some estimates. $30/machine/mo. adds up to approximately $150/mo. Though you will need the same number of workstations to connect to the internet, those machines can be older, cheaper and of any type: laptops, tablets, iPads.
- Your server also needs to be replaced with a faster and more powerful one every 5 years, in addition to new Windows Server software. Using Dell.com, we found a decent server for $125/mo.
- We estimate that your IT Technician visits twice each month to take care of adding and configuring printers, adding new users and reviewing their rights, checking cables and so on. That’s another $240/mo. (assuming the rate of $120/hr.).
- Redundant backups are essential, and using a cloud solution, like DropBox can be ideal. Though much depends on frequency, assistance required, and storage needed, we found that $40/mo. is a reasonable estimate.
With these estimates, you spend $550/mo. excluding software cost. If you need better estimates, call and ask computer sales organizations the cost of leasing such system components. Please use our spread sheet (located above) to figure a better estimate your true cost.
If you only consider the monthly fees for a web-based solution like POMeSYS and compare it to the monthly maintenance fees for an old software, on the face of it you are right. SaaS looks expensive. But, when you really dig, you will see that you would save a good sum of money by moving to the web. How much do you save? That depends on many factors.