The economic crisis has ratcheted up the importance of understanding the total cost of ownership of enterprise software and what manufacturers are actually getting for their maintenance dollars. As customers begin to unravel their vendors' product road maps with an eye toward saving money, understanding what happens at upgrade time is becoming increasingly important - and difficult.
At stake is not just the basic long-term cost of an enterprise software architecture, which is already a pretty big deal. More important is balancing those costs against an expected return on that investment in the form of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. But vendors offer a dizzying array of brand new functions and upgrades to old functions that muddy the overall cost equation.
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