Intranet Portal – Business Case ROI

The days of easy money are over

In these post-dot-com days of the 21st Century, the hype attached to IT is well and truly over. The modern Board is deeply suspicious of large IT projects with questionable benefits and a long-term payback period.

The good news is that a world-class portal implementation has the power to completely transform your organisation and touch everyone, from the office of your CEO to the lady in the canteen. lowes employee login

First a little on Costs

Sorry, but the cost of the software is only a relatively small part of the overall bill; with other major costs in hardware, process change and integration activities. Your first (and major) portal project is (in terms of cost) more an infrastructure investment than it is an application.

As a rough rule of thumb (for a user base >10,000), budget for £250 per desktop to put in the essentials (including portal and content management solutions). If you are also integrating to (and exposing) your ERP or CRM systems, add £150.

Direct Benefits

Based on my experience, Direct Benefits (those that you can directly bake into line budgets and make an individual directorate accountable for realising) are only 20-25% of the total prize and will not generally cover the portal implementation costs by themselves. Direct benefits include reduced printing and distribution costs, decommissioning legacy intranets and FTE savings in operational areas (including IT development & support, Finance & Procurement ledger processing and HR employee services).

Soft Benefits include improved employee satisfaction, better communication and corporate belonging, the importance of which should not be under-estimated in your business case. After all, there is always an emotional, as well as a rational, reason for every purchasing decision.

However, the bulk of portal benefits are Indirect Benefits, where time saved in line areas leads to (for example) reduced call times in call centres, higher sales, faster time to market for new products, fewer failed projects and so on. Benefits realisation is the issue with such benefits. After all, you can’t fire 10 minutes of a person a day! The time they have saved is real – ultimately saving cost and driving sales – but it cannot be readily tracked to either.