Architecture Platform TCO

Read on to get our simple costing worksheet to help you estimate the total cost of ownership or TCO of an architecture platform.

Have you ever made a purchase and selected something you thought was a good deal because it was inexpensive, only to find out it either doesn’t meet your needs or requires a bunch of extra time and add-ons you didn’t plan on? You then end up paying the extra costs to make it work or throwing it out and buying something new. This is a common occurrence with architecture management platforms. Companies buy a solution based solely on software licensing costs without considering what it takes to configure and operate the platform and train users to use it effectively. 

Implementing an architecture platform is more than acquiring software. Value comes from your organization (not just your architects) using the platform for a specific business purpose, whether you are talking about a solution for business process modeling, systems engineering, application portfolio management or enterprise architecture – the same activities are needed to go from software acquisition to realizing value.

Sparx Services North America has developed a simple costing worksheet to help you understand the implementation journey of any architecture platform and estimate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the platform.

The TCO of an architecture platform needs to factor in 5 key cost categories:

  1. Software licenses
  2. Infrastructure/hosting/administration
  3. Platform Configuration
  4. User Training
  5. Support and Maintenance

On-premise deployments often have lower software costs but higher infrastructure and configuration costs than SaaS solutions. Pre-made integrations add software costs but can reduce custom integrations’ configuration and support costs. General-purpose modeling tools often have lower software costs than specialized solutions designed for a targeted use case but require additional configuration before they can be used. You can see a pattern here – lower software costs do not necessarily mean lower Total Cost of Ownership. In many cases, what looks like savings on paper is masking the true costs of the solution, leading to higher TCO.

If you want to minimize the TCO of your architecture platform, there are three key guidelines to follow.

  1. Start by clearly understanding what you want the platform to do and what features you need.
  2. Consult with a Subject Matter Expert who understands what it really takes to deliver the capabilities you are looking for, and have them design your solution before you start buying parts.
  3. Consider the total cost and timelines of delivering a solution your organization can use.

  Download the Architecture Platform Costing Worksheet here.

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