When asked about what to look for in a network infrastructure solution, my starting points are usually performance and quality. Feedback from our studies show that these are the top two, however, price or cost is always not far behind.
No surprise there you might say, however the words ‘price’, ‘cost’ and ‘value’can all mean very different things depending on the scope and vision of what the user is aiming to achieve. The recent blog post by one of my colleagues, Jim Hulsey, illustrated examples of how ‘You get what you pay for’.
To compare the relative costs and merits of different solutions, each organization must evaluate their application needs, considering the various advantages of each solution type and their relative importance. Cost, ease of installation, moves and arrangements, current and anticipated applications, and the expected life of the system are typically major decision factors.
When evaluating cost, organizations should always think in terms of cost over the life of the network infrastructure, rather than only the initial installation cost. Also compare the cost to electronic hardware that will often be replaced several times over the lifetime of the infrastructure. The lowest initial cost is not always the cheapest or best value in the long run, however, once the contract is placed it is difficult to change.
Considering cost should include the following: