I can answer a small part of this.
The most important part of the costs that administration overlooks during these kinds of efforts is the cost of maintenance of the online course content that is created. Online courses are like cars; they require care and maintenance which is sometimes expensive. Here are some examples of events that require maintenance work:
- At some point, some of the graded content of the course can leak to Chegg or a local student group; that needs to be replaced.
- While using the course materials, faculty can realize some things are in the wrong order or the pacing is incorrect in certain modules.
- If the course is aligned to a textbook, the textbook can go into a new edition.
- If the course is aligned to some software, the software can go out of favor with the faculty.
- Something surprising can go wrong -- maybe the youtube videos are hosted on an account that is accidentally deleted. Maybe the original, easily-editable copy of the guided notes is lost and someone has to piece things together from a PDF.
As a result, administrators overseeing resource allocation for the online component of a department should think the way they think when purchasing other expensive assets like cars. Specifically,
- Money should be set aside for "oil changes": small maintenance that, if done regularly, extends the overall life of the online content.
- The entire project should be depreciated over time: it should be assumed that the material will run out of its useful life sometime in the next 20 years, even if maintained very well.
If administrators understand this analogy while allocating resources, everyone will be less bitter during the natural process of decay and maintenance of the developed materials.