This thesis provides an analysis of cost of ownership issues and techniques, and
provides the supporting data to enable future system designers to make rational
decisions on design options. It represents the experience gained whilst collecting
cost and cost relationship data in the Rolls-Royce group over a period or more than
four years. This, in a time of continuous change, in both the company and the wider
The thesis is arranged in chapters, each representing a milestone conference or journal
paper. The exception to this is chapter Il- the conclusion and summary of the work
in the thesis.
The Chapter topics cover firstly the background of whole life cost and the aims and
objectives of the research. A relationship between whole life cost and quality is
considered and why whole life cost is a useful measure of quality. This is examined in
practical terms of tools and methods. Case studies are used to illustrate the
measurement and use of whole life cost. The impact of obsolescence risk is next
considered, identifying the causes and implications of obsolescence.
Case studies are used to show how the IT help desk can be used to identify and reduce
whole life costs both in a deterministic and a probabilistic approach. This is followed
by an examination of the costs of database systems at Rolls-Royce and Associates.
Case studies of database systems are also used to show the need to collect in service
data, and genetic algorithms are shown to be a useful tool for analysing the data.
Whole life costing techniques applied to engineering systems at Rolls-Royce is
examined. It is shown that a reliability centred maintenance database is a cost
effective tool in collecting data. Network monitoring software is shown to be an
effective tool for reducing the cost of ownership of IT systems.
The overall conclusion is that whole life cost techniques have been shown to work for
computer based systems, further work in this area is still needed to enable costs to be
fully understood and optimised.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.