Budget. One of the dirtiest words in the English language. The full cost of doing business is rarely obvious up front, and surprise costs take resources from your budget, deferring your ability to see a return on any investment. An intelligent intranet is a powerful tool for companies to streamline processes and improve access to critical information, two key elements in attacking the costs you don’t know you’ll incur until it’s too late. A strong and strategic intranet is an investment with a big return in both the short and long term. It’s inspiring to see how our customers maximize efficiencies and ROI, so let’s take a look at ways that your intranet can start making you money.

1) Keep your head in the cloud 

System downtime is a scary prospect for any business. A recent report by marketing intelligence firm IDC found that more than 80% of small and medium sized businesses worldwide experience system downtime that costs anywhere from $82,200 to $256,000 for a single event.

Many companies are taking advantage of cloud based intranet solutions for their low downtime. Our cloud customers remain online 99.5% of the time, including scheduled maintenance. Centralizing your data on an intelligent intranet means not having to lose precious hours of work.

2) The quest for information

Another recent IDC study estimates that workers spend nearly 36% of their time searching for information that is spread across systems, costing companies $5.7 million per year. Many companies that use older legacy systems to store information not only increase the amount of time spent searching, but decrease the accuracy of information. This is a result of having multiple versions of essential documents, sometimes even on multiple systems.

Intelligent search enables suggestions based on previous searches and intranet behavior, which pushes the information that is most likely to help at the top of the search. By integrating systems, so employees have one place to access all company information, it will be quicker and easier for employees to find what they need and your intranet will become the trusted source of information.

3) The ROI of employee engagement

Employee disengagement is one of the biggest issues facing the business world today. In fact, Gallup estimates that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies $450 to $550 billion per year. The costs of disengagement are high, and conversely the benefits of a well engaged workforce are strong. According to Gallup, “Work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity.”

Dex Media is a great example of how to use the intranet to build employee engagement. After a merger, Dex Media used its new intranet to bring together, using intranet features like forums, timelines and team areas. When workers are engaged, they feel motivated and know when their efforts make a difference to the company. And all that engagement? That’s great for the bottom line.

4) You’ve either got IT or you haven’t

As a result of more simplified intranet administrative tools, March of Dimes were able to relocate staff from intranet administration to other vital projects. IT staff don’t come cheap, and finding qualified experts for systems such as SharePoint is difficult. A whitepaper published by Osterman Research found that 42% of organizations had difficulty finding qualified IT personnel to manage SharePoint systems. The same whitepaper also estimates that these IT staff cost around $100,000 per year, and this doesn’t include the cost of servers if the system is run in house.

A cloud based intranet removes server costs, and with the right solution, it doesn’t require any IT support either. As Geoff Garcia from March of Dimes said: “Not only was the project successful, but they had fun doing it.”

The 4 building blocks of intranet ROI [infographic]

Not having an intranet can be costly

There are many costs associated with running a business, and it can be impossible to predict every expense that will pop up. March of Dimes is a shining example of using your intranet to its full potential. After they switched from SharePoint to our turnkey intranet solution, they were able to reduce their hardware costs by more than 60% and save an additional $10,000 per year by centralizing their data.  Having the right tools from the beginning helps eliminate those nasty surprises and guarantees a higher ROI. A strong intranet solution is the best tool you can have in your kit.