Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a key aspect to any large capital expenditure, and the business intelligence (BI) software industry is no different. However, many evaluators of BI software seem to lose focus on total cost of ownership during the procurement process choosing to focus on upfront software acquisition cost. I have always found this to be a curious phenomenon, in particular in low margin businesses (i.e. retailers, wholesalers, and logistics spending roughly 1% of their operational budget on information technology), because it is so important. The reason this is curious to me, is low margin businesses must be able to do more with less in all aspects of their business to protect thin margins, and that includes BI.
The inevitable fallout of a typical low margin business selecting a BI solution based on upfront software acquisition cost is the following:
So what should a low margin business, like a retailer, do when evaluating a BI solution?
Total cost of ownership must be king in low margin businesses when choosing a BI platform. Including the following critical capabilities:
The good news is quite a bit of analysis has already been done within the analyst community on BI platform ownership costs. Qlik historically has scored quite well in all areas of total cost of ownership. It's one of the many reasons that Qlik is regularly adopted as the business intelligence platform of choice in low margin business like retailers, wholesalers and logistics organizations throughout the world.