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Understanding and Modeling the Life-Cycle Cost Tradeoffs Associated with the Procurement of Open Systems

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Openness (of a system or architecture), though intuitively understood, remains difficult to quantify in terms of its value. Although commonly associated with cost avoidance, system openness can also increase costs. Previous efforts have relied on highly qualitative system analyses, with the results often articulated as an intangible “openness score,” for determining which of multiple system implementations is more open. Such approaches do not provide enough information to make a business case or understand the conditions under which life-cycle cost avoidance can be maximized (or whether there even is cost avoidance). This paper develops a multivariate model that quantifies the relationship between system openness and life-cycle cost. A case study that evaluates the utility of the second phase of the Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) Sonar System’s evolution to an open system is discussed.

This research was partially sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School.

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