Estimating true costs of proprietary software

Thomas Etter etterth at
Sun Jun 25 22:49:57 UTC 2017

Hi all

Recently I found myself in a discussion with someone in charge of
purchasing decisions in an IT department.
Obviously I argued that the true cost of proprietary software is much
higher than just e.g. licensing costs per year.
Therefore free software solutions should be preferred even if their support
contracts were to cost several times as much as proprietary competitors
charge for the same time frame due to the inherent risk of using
proprietary software.

Do we have any models on how to compute the real costs, including the cost
of lock-in?
In our section on public procurement [1], we do not really propose a way to
do that.
Do you have good models for this (can be from personal, corporate or public
I believe that if we can put some cost to the risk, we can argue much more
successfully for free solutions.


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