Assessing the Benefits
To assess the benefits it is most important to understand the nature of benefits, there are three types of benefits which can result from any software usage.
All these benefits vary significantly based on factors like
The most pragmatic approach that can be taken to assess these benefits is to have a participation from various Department Heads. The shortlisted applications can be demonstrated to them and their assessment of benefits and timelines can be taken as base. An external consultant is able to help in this assessment if the team is new to such a task.
Assessing the Costs
With the increasing popularity of SaaS applications like Salesforce.com there are now two distinct options in front of the CTOs. I would like them to classify them as On Premise Applications and Software as a Service based Web applications. The cost structures in these two options are significantly different.
Lets evaluate each cost element for SaaS and On Premise application.
The actual cost figures for each of these categories would require detailing which is best done with inputs from applications and hardware vendors.
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