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'TCO should include exit costs and cost of vendor lock-in'

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Exit costs, the cost of IT vendor lock-in, the cost of network effects and innovation should be included in any Total Cost of Ownership financial estimate of IT projects, says the OpenForum Academy, a think-tank.

Next to suggesting improvements to the TCO model, the think-tank called on governments to make open standards a requirement for all of its IT. "Open standards are the key to software interoperability and should be made a requirement of all government IT", said OFA Fellow Jochen Friedrich.

On Tuesday the think-tank presented the outcome of its first conference on Openness and Innovation, which took place a day earlier in Brussels. OFA's members see the move towards openness in the economy as a reaction to the same trend in society. Friedrich: "Organisations need to 'open up'. Collaboration across organisational boundaries leads to innovation and better results."

The group also warns that schools need to improve their approach to IT. "Pupils and students are conditioned to use software from one single vendor. This social conditioning is a threat to innovation and results in competence lock-in." The think-tank wants governments to start raising schools' awareness on this.

During the conference on Monday, the Academy published its first proceedings. It is comprised of ten papers on the theme of Openness. Authors for example include standard and licence expert Andy Updegrove, open source developer Carlo Daffara and academics Efthymios Altsitsiadis, Björn Lundell, Peter Murray-Rust and Tineke Egyedi.

More information:
'Open Innovation' - report from the OFA Conference (pdf)
Open Forum Academy
First Collaborative Book of OFA
First Open Forum Academy Conference