Getting approval for a new intranet platform usually means proving its potential benefits for your organization. From soft benefits to hard financial information, it’s important to have all the information you need when making the business case for intranet software. This article contains tips on what you need to know about the soft and hard ROI benefits of an intranet.
Purchasing enterprise-level SaaS applications of any kind comes with a cost. The pricing will typically include factors such as the number of licenses needed (including predictable growth) and any requirement for additional services.
Buying intranet software is no different. As with other cloud-based systems, an out-of-the-box intranet platform such as Interact may include setup, deployment, maintenance, hosting, updates, and support for the system after go-live.
Historically, where buying an intranet has differed from some other business applications is that proving the ultimate financial value of a platform has been less obvious. An intranet is not a commercial, customer-facing tool that instantly generates revenue, so it can be a challenge for those building a business case to point to a hard return on investment figure and say this is how much money the software will generate or save for the business.
That figure does exist though, and it can be estimated with a high degree of confidence. Our interactive ROI calculator shows you how to reach it and this article explains some of the workings behind the calculator.
Soft ROI benefits matter
Before understanding the hard, financial value of an intranet, it’s important to understand the less quantifiable benefits that better internal communications also create within a business.
Often referred to as qualitative benefits, soft ROI includes improvements that have no direct economic impact but are still important within an organization.
For intranet projects, typical soft benefits include:
- A more positive company culture with better employee wellbeing.
- Increased employee advocacy.
- Improved brand reputation.
- More word-of-mouth employment referrals.
There are many ways to measure aspects of these objectives, including via Pulse Surveys and Data Analytics. For example, if your analytics show that the number of employees visiting a landing page hosting company updates increases by 50% after a sustained internal comms campaign, it may be judged a success. With more attendees learning about the company and their colleagues, employee engagement and experience may rise, resulting in better external advocacy and brand presence.
Some of this is quantifiable then, but not the whole end-to-end process. It is also hard to separate which strands of a multichannel communications campaign (email, intranet, mobile app) contributed most.
This is why hard ROI can be so compelling for senior leaders.
Hard ROI benefits
A properly deployed and managed intranet may change many elements within an organization but three are pertinent when creating a business case. You can also use our free interactive ROI calculator to assess the value of all three areas for your business.
- The increase in user productivity from a connected, searchable platform.
- Time gained by upskilling new starters faster through a digital onboarding process.
- Financial and knowledge-based returns from retaining existing staff and reducing employee churn.
The ROI of improved productivity
One barrier to the ability of workers to do their jobs stems from employees not having fast access to relevant information, policies, and systems.
A lack of easy links to common workflows (e.g., booking vacation or finding HR documents) means staff spend unnecessary time searching and getting frustrated.
An enterprise search tool can work seamlessly inside an intranet to help users find everything they need, from colleagues to benefits information.
The ROI calculator provides a realistic estimate of how much time (and, by extension, money) an organization can save by implementing a modern intranet that reduces the amount of time users spend on fruitless searches that end in HR and IT burden.
Better onboarding means faster time-to-value for new starters
The slow onboarding of new starters creates a financial burden for organizations because it generates admin costs and means that new hires take longer to reach full productivity.
A modern intranet may help to reduce the financial impact of onboarding new starters by helping them to self-serve more efficiently and become more productive, faster.
Preboarding and onboarding experiences can be orchestrated through a customized intranet that gives new employees access to paperwork and signposts the way to training videos and much more. By facilitating a smoother entry into their new workplace, your onboarding platform can create hard financial benefits for the company.
Keep employees (and value) for the long-term
The cost of losing and replacing dissatisfied employees is significant. High employee churn rates can lead to increased training costs, lower productivity, low employee engagement, and new onboarding costs.
These are all in addition to the less tangible but just as important damage to company culture that high churn causes. Implementing a modern intranet is one of the options available to organizations seeking to make improvements to their employee retention strategies.
A modern intranet is a vital tool for improving employee engagement and helping to retain workers for a longer period. Improved one- and two-way multichannel communications using rich-text media, design, UX, and social media features all help to improve morale and keep employees informed about events and activities occurring throughout the organization. As with the other benefits mentioned, employee retention can also be calculated for its hard ROI when improved by intranet software.
Use the intranet ROI calculator to learn more
The value of effective internal communication and of the digital workplace technology that supports it must not be underestimated. It is not enough to focus solely on soft ROI, however, and projects should be measured with meaningful data. This is the language CEOs and other senior leaders understand and respond to.
As with other enterprise software applications, proving that a particular investment is justified – rather than a ‘nice to have’ – means it needs to deliver measurable performance. If the ongoing value created by the intranet isn’t measured, there is always the risk that the budget will be removed and the intranet will fail.
You can help to avoid this by measuring with our ROI calculator now, benchmarking current performance, and monitoring long into the future.