If you are building a case for a new generation intranet, you probably use the main drivers for such an initiative: employee engagement, communication effectiveness, productivity in the workplace and so forth.
But introducing a company intranet may bring additional unexpected benefits, which may prove quite significant in terms of ROI. Depending on your company context, you may find a couple of things that are relevant to your situation in the list below.
Reduce IT costs
In most, if not all, companies, the IT department juggles an intricate maze of legacy systems, business applications and collaboration tools. The introduction of a successful intranet usually leads to a significant decrease in those costs, despite the cost of the intranet software and project.
Indeed, intranet software often comes with a number of features and capabilities that allow it to replace some collaboration tools, thus decreasing the total number of tools you need to maintain.
Moreover, the new intranet could unify your collaboration tools and business applications into a hub, providing a unique entry point for all users. This not only improves the efficiency of each separate tool, it allows you to identify highly used applications from those that only serve a couple of people and you can take the relevant action.
If you are replacing an existing outdated intranet solution, you may get a better total cost of ownership, whether the solution was built in-house or bought from a software vendor.
Reduce document management costs
If your company has no dedicated document management platform, your new intranet will significantly lower your document management costs, as most intranet software comes with a built-in document management system.
To estimate your potential cost savings, evaluate your current document management costs. To do that, observe how a document-intensive team (for example, finance or legal) processes their documents and extrapolate. How much hard cash does your company spend on paper and printing, on physical storage space, on insurance and security, on document management (archive and retrieve, classify, etc.)? Imagine how your document management process could change with a new intranet – there would be fewer physical documents and documents would be managed more efficiently – and estimate your potential gains in hard cash and time.
If your company does have a document management system, the chances are your intranet will still reduce document management costs by integrating with that system and providing better usability and research capabilities.
Manage succession planning and knowledge transmission costs
If your company workforce has a significant portion of pre-retirement managers, succession planning must be an important issue for your HR department. When key employees retire, their wealth of knowledge and experience disappears with them, unless it was previously extracted from them and shared with their potential successors. That, however, is not that easy to do as most knowledge is tacit. Knowledge management platforms or intranets with knowledge management capabilities can help by capturing this tacit knowledge, and storing and organizing it in a searchable and easily accessible manner.
Estimating succession costs is difficult, but if the issue is relevant in your company, the HR department might have some analyses that you can use as a baseline to see how your intranet will impact the variables.
Increase the top line
An efficient company intranet simplifies client management at all stages, from the initial sale to customer support and management, which leads to increased revenue.
If your sales teams require help from any other team in the company to close a deal (marketing, product, support, etc.), a new company intranet will render those collaborations more efficient, leading to quicker sales and better outcomes.
The same is true for customer support. For example, if your support agents have a two-way communication channel with clients through your company customer extranet and they can also instantly ask for information from other employees in the same workplace, then your clients will receive better service.
If you analyze all your company’s interactions with your customers, you will probably find other examples. By understanding how your intranet could speed up a process or deliver better value to a customer, you will be able to extrapolate the impact on your top line by making some high-level assumptions.
Decrease the cost of innovation
In today’s economy, companies that do not innovate quickly end up dead. But innovation is a costly process starting right from ideation. Your intranet could be an efficient communication tool for crowdsourcing ideas, in particular from “the field” – those employees who interact with the customers.
To estimate the benefits of such an initiative, you could estimate the cost of your current ideation process. However, it is better to start with the what if scenario: what if our company fails to stay relevant in the market? How many years before the current cash-cow product becomes a commodity? How big is our gap vs our competitors? How much money will we potentially lose? Using customer inputs to drive innovation can speed up the ideation process and it also provides better ideas.
If you think of another possible unexpected benefit from introducing a new company intranet, please let us know!