Study pegs federal PC ownership cost at a cool $8,400/year

A study to calculate the total cost of ownership of desktop PCs at one General Services
Administration office, conducted as the agency is developing a task order for the Seat
Management Program contracts, found the GSA office spends an average of $8,400 per
computer a year.

The study is not completely representative because it looked at only a small portion of
GSA—just 300 PC users, the agency’s Seat program manager Wanda Smith said.

“What you’re looking at here is a very, very small enterprise,” Smith
said. “When you buy a 200-seat service, it is more expensive than when you buy 1,000
seats or 14,000 seats.” Using a higher figure would bring the cost down to $4,000 or
$5,000 a user, she said.

Furthermore, the number is somewhat skewed because the organization is migrating from a
network running Novell NetWare to one running Microsoft Windows NT, which increased the
cost, she said.

At some point, the study will be merged with a broader total cost of ownership study of
GSA generally, Smith said.

Also, GSA last month finished defining the requirements for a Seat Management task
order for its users. GSA will be the first agency to use the Seat Management contracts.
Agency officials expect to complete negotiations on the task order by January.  

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