Collaborative tech is a phenomenon which has been gripping our organizational landscape for the better part of the last decade. Workplaces are going digital making it de rigueur for business enterprises to constantly integrate new technology into their day to day operations. While this is done with the objectives of boosting workforce productivity and business efficiency through seamless communication and collaboration, the challenges which organizations encounter from a business perspective are two-fold:
1) Keeping pace with ever-changing technology and a profusion of collaborative business tools, making it increasingly arduous to decide what suits your organization
2) Building a strong business case to justify investing in these collab tech tools and measuring the ROI (Return on Investment)
While I have addressed the first challenge in my earlier piece – Collaborative Tech: Why the Intranet is the Solution to the Problem of Plenty, this article is an attempt to help you and your organization quantify the intangible returns by adopting collaborative technology mediums like the Intranet.
Investing in an Intranet? How the Benefits Outweigh the Cost
Fortunately, we live in a world of SaaS (Software as a Service). What this translates to is that solutions which once used to cost thousands of dollars and were privy to large enterprises alone are now available as off-the-shelf ‘Plug-and-Play’ offerings which are not just affordable, but also customizable to your business’ requirements.
Keeping Hubfly as a case in point, we build integrated, business-centric and customizable Intranet solutions on a SaaS model leveraging the collaborative power of Microsoft SharePoint for those organizations which run their businesses on Office 365. This obviates the need for them to rely on systems outside the Office 365 ecosystem, yet offer flexibility to integrate intelligent business tools.
What’s more? You save on time, labour and the cost involved in having to create an Intranet for your organization from scratch. The proverbial ‘Cherry on the Icing of the Cake’ is that you get an ‘Evergreen Intranet’ which is synced up with all technology updates and customized to each user’s preference. All this at a per user monthly charge rather than incurring a lumpsum one-time set-up cost and additional costs for the updates.
Quantifying the ‘Soft Returns’
One of the biggest misconceptions or roadblocks that dissuade organizations from investing big money in a dynamic intranet is that the benefits accrued – be it higher employee engagement, boosting employee morale, ensuring employee self-sufficiency, knowledge sharing, better data security etc. – do not get directly reflected in an organization’s books of accounts. Hence the returns are considered to be ‘Soft’ or ‘Intangible’ in nature.
The tangible returns flow largely from time savings (when organizations bill clients on an hourly basis) and increased productivity through collaboration (reflected in meeting client deliverables, increased client retention, boosting the average revenue per employee – all swelling the bottomline).
Let’s get down to outlining some researched stats which should help you build a case for your organization to invest in an intranet:
Returns through Time Saving
Consultancy firm McKinsey estimates that the average knowledge worker spends 28 hours per week on emails and searching information. Independent research by Atos Origin highlighted that the average employee spends 40% of his/her working week dealing with internal emails which add no value to the business. When organizations adopt a social intranet, it is estimated to increase employee productivity through collaboration by 20-25%.
Gartner has observed that professionals spend 50% of their time searching for documents, and take 18 minutes to locate each document on average. This wasted time, according to a 2012 study by IDC and Adobe, costs an organization $19,732 per information worker per year and amounts to a loss of 21.3% to the organization’s total productivity.
A study by IDC has calculated that enterprises with a minimum 1,000 professionals waste an equivalent of $2.5 million to $3.5 million per year in terms of time failing to find existing information, or recreating information that can’t be found.
An intranet solution with a smart search feature and a smooth, employee focused user interface that facilitates communication and collaboration hold the key to unlock greater productivity and bringing about time-related cost savings. The intranet can also play the role of a centralized destination for all enterprise tools in the form of intelligent business apps that employees can avail to automate business processes and to get their work done.
Returns through Cost Saving
Coopers & Lybrand Consulting had estimated that organizations in the U.S alone use over 4 trillion paper documents every year growing at 880 billion documents annually. With 20% of these documents being misfiled on an average, companies pay a cost equivalent to 6 times the value of the original document for searching 11 times the value of the original for redoing the documents.
The intranet helps negate the cost involved in printing, distributing, maintaining and storing of physical work documents. Using a collab tech medium like the intranet, your organization can do away with physical documents by making employees access forms online.
According to statistics gathered by the London Coaching Company, 80% of company leaders offer a sub-standard induction, leading to 1 in 5 new employees leaving a business within the first 6 months. The average cost of replacing a member of staff is over £30,000.
Retaining one member of staff per year saves 15% of a salary in agency recruitment costs alone. The intranet can be used as an effective knowledge management repository through which digital employee inductions can be conducted. This helps cut costs on room hiring, travel, refreshments and man hours spent by the employee and the induction staff.
While these quantifications listed above aren’t exhaustive, we at Hubfly believe that they should help your organization to weigh in favour of investing in a dynamic intranet. If you have experiences to share on the deployment of an intranet in your organization, do share them with us in the comments section below. We are here to improve your experience.