Opportunity Cost and Missed Chances in Optimizing Cybersecurity

missed opportunity cost

All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Therefore, a positive net present value suggests funds invested in this opportunity provide a return greater than if the funds were invested elsewhere. Future estimated cash flows are discounted by a company’s IRR to calculate the net present value of an investment. When someone decides to buy a luxury item instead of saving, the opportunity cost could be the potential compound interest earned over the years. Every dollar spent today could have been saved or invested for a potentially higher value in the future. For instance, if you spend an evening studying for an exam rather than going to a movie, your opportunity cost is the enjoyment and relaxation you would’ve gotten from the movie.

missed opportunity cost

If you choose to have one thing, it usually means you have to forego something else. This trade-off may either be something tangible (like money) or something intangible (like time). The basic formula for opportunity cost is the same in academic economics as it is in everyday use—it’s just expressed differently.

Opportunity Cost Explained

Tangible costs are measurable and include things like material items and money. Intangible costs are immeasurable and include the emotional impact of something, such as feelings of happiness and satisfaction, or the benefit of convenience. In the financial statements of a company, opportunity costs are not directly reflected. Companies, executives, and investors often disregard opportunity cost due to its abstract nature.

missed opportunity cost

A sunk cost is money already spent at some point in the past, while opportunity cost is the potential returns not earned in the future on an investment because the money was invested elsewhere. When considering opportunity cost, any sunk costs previously incurred are typically ignored. Assume the expected return on investment (ROI) in the stock market is 10% over the next year, while the company estimates that the equipment update would generate an 8% return over the same period. The opportunity cost of choosing the equipment over the stock market is 2% (10% – 8%).

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For example, a security team could interview internal stakeholders and determine that automation for asset inventory would provide immediate value. They could constrain their time and effort by meeting a set of minimum requirements for asset inventory automation, quickly building an MVP to solicit initial feedback and inform what work should come next. The real value of the $1,300 lies not in comparing it to the $200,000, but in considering that if you spent it, you would have $1,300 less in your bank account and have given up the opportunity to purchase $1,300 worth of other goods and services.

They are less likely to include nonfocal alternatives during the same decision-making process. Nor are they likely to compare the costs and benefits of buying the focal options vs. not buying any of them at all. In general, the greater the risk that you lose money on an investment, the higher returns it provides. It can be difficult, then, to compare the opportunity costs of very risky investments, like individual stocks, with virtually risk-free investments, like U.S.

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All articles are written by volunteers and it may be beneficial to contact professionals to assist your understanding of the information and to guide your action. Pitch Labs bears no responsibility for the results of actions taken missed opportunity cost based off of article content or any other form of assistance given. Avoid simply focusing on the one option that you prefer and ignoring the rest. Instead, assess the pros and cons of each alternative with equal objectivity.