Return On Investment – SharePoint

The return on investment for software platforms is a very popular topic and many research companies have published articles and reports on the topic with varying approaches to measurement. The recent Forrester report evaluates the platform based on its features and benefits. In the Forrester report, a conservative estimate pegged benefits at $3.1 million at a cost of $1.5 million for an organization with 5,000 SharePoint users and a billion in revenue. There are many other tools and calculators that help IT Managers across the world understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), like Nucleus Research.

In our engagements we come across many questions from clients about return on Investment, we believe there is no one single correct answer to this question. The benefits and the return on Investment depend on the degree of adoption and the emphasis the Management places on using SharePoint. There are largely three aspects of SharePoint that lead to an improved organization and a high return on Investment which cannot always be quantified using numbers.

1.  Automation of back-end processes using SharePoint – the pre-existing templates in SharePoint reduce the time required in building/automating processes, this helps in reducing costs associated with automation and also helps organizations develop workflows that lead to a reduction in operating costs. We have seen many clients reduce operational expenses by developing and deploying a customer portal that integrates with the resolution cycle.

2.  Tacit knowledge becomes Explicit knowledge – the document management capabilities of the SharePoint server help in liberating important information across the company. The information workers of today need highly relevant information and content that leads to high productivity and quick go to market solutions. The digital assets of the organization are stored with only the appropriate personnel allowed to access the information on the documents using the inherent information rights management capabilities of SharePoint.

3. The collaboration of geographically dispersed employees – today business has no boundaries and hence employees need to collaborate effectively, many organizations have used the collaboration capabilities of the SharePoint Server to bring together geographically separated employees together and contribute effectively.

The tangible benefits over a period of time are evident and make using the SharePoint Server a compelling proposition for organizations of all sizes. We have worked with companies in the US, UK, Australia, and UAE to help them use the harness the power of this great product/platform from Microsoft. We think the SharePoint server provides organizations not only with a platform to build powerful and optimal teams but also a platform to benefit from automation of business processes.