Technology costs include every tool and service related to the online community. These can be separated into one-off costs, which we may wish to amortize over a period of time (e.g. three years) and recurring costs.
One-off costs will include the following:
- Software license. This is the cost of acquiring the software license. Most software platforms operate under a licensing agreement, whereby the organization purchases a license for a period of several years (yet, may incur the full cost up front). Enterprise software licensing can range in cost from upper five-figure and into six-figure numbers. Most of the larger enterprise vendors will assume a multi-year agreement with an annual cost based upon usage (number of users/logins) built into the pricing.
- Installation and implementation fee. In addition to the license, some enterprise platforms may charge an installation or implementation fee. This is the cost of setting up your instance of the community platform. This will usually be a multiple of several months of the license fee. However, this is less common than it used to be. The activation of community software typically involves configuration of basic platform functionality and training. These activities tend to be included in the software licensing fee and may appear as an increase in the first year’s support package costs.