total cost of ownership



  • noun a systematic method of calculating the total cost of buying and using a product or service. It takes into account not only the purchase price of an item but also related costs such as ordering, delivery, subsequent use and maintenance, supplier costs, and after-delivery costs.


  • A model which factors in all direct and indirect costs associated with owning, operating, and maintaining a computer. In addition to the initial disbursement for a given system, such costs may include technical training, software and/or hardware upgrades, technical support, administrative fees, the adapting of a given location for the use of such a system, remote storage charges, and so on. The term also applies to the total cost of ownership of other devices, equipment, or systems, such as communications networks. Its abbreviation is TCO.