ROI can be notoriously difficult to calculate for some aspects of business; and truthfully, I.T. can feel like that too sometimes. It’s not like a flashy marketing campaign where you can track exactly how many people respond to a certain ad by the sales you make that week, or a sleek website overhaul where you can collect data about the number of new visitors.
Instead, I.T. often works behind the scenes. Think of optimal I.T. like an engine: quiet and seamlessly integrated to the larger machine, integral to your organization’s performance. Unfortunately, when you can’t see something, it can be hard to immediately recognize the value. The truth, however, is that the best I.T. support can do wonderful things for your company’s productivity, agility, innovation, and competitiveness. The best part? You don’t need to understand the ins and outs to understand how it’s helping your business.
Here are some of the ways you can gauge the ROI of I.T. support.
One reason companies look into the overhauling or refining their I.T. is because they’re looking for places to save money and they know investing in new technology can help them get there, which is true. For example, choosing to move your business to the cloud can help reduce the costs of on-site technology, while outsourcing your I.T. help desk can eliminate the need for a full time employee.
Another major cost reduction item is the reduction in ongoing maintenance fees associated with I.T. that just can’t support your business anymore. Downed servers, cybersecurity concerns, unreliable telecommunications, and outdated software are all hassles that may require recurring costs as you struggle to get problems diagnosed and fixed, only to have them reoccur over and over again. If you have subpar I.T. service, this could be your reality and it’s definitely not conducive to profitability.
Because a major benefit of seamless I.T. is efficiency, you can also gauge time saved on certain tasks, whether it’s a reduced length of customer service calls or a shortened amount of time it takes to deliver on specific projects.
Another way to look at ROI for I.T. investments is by the money it allows you to bring in. For example, enhanced I.T. that supports you in delivering a new service or offering new products would be an easy way of identifying its benefits.
Enhancing your system for quicker shipping or shipping over a larger region would be another way of using I.T. to bring in more revenue, as would the potential to reach a new demographic of customers. For example, opening your business up to online shoppers or remote clients can be an extremely profitable way of increasing revenue gains, and it’s something that might not be possible with your current I.T. system.
After an upgrade, does your I.T. allow you to sell more products, handle more client requests, and close payments faster? Then you can count that new I.T. investment as a key player in your company’s increased revenue gains.
Less Tangible—But Equally Important—Factors
While not every single benefit to having high quality I.T. systems can be tracked or quantified, there are still many ways that enhancing your I.T. can boost your business, all of which can lead to cost reduction or revenue gains. For example, you could see increased client satisfaction and more thorough customer support. By streamlining certain workflows within your company, you might be able to increase productivity among your employees.
It’s not uncommon for certain companies to report better problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as more accurate data input, which can, in turn, help a company be more agile and competitive. Wanting to get an edge on their industry is a big reason businesses look into overhauling things like software and mobile device management.
I.T. might seem intimidating, especially when it comes to delving into things like new software or the complexity of server and network maintenance. If you’re not a geek at heart, you might be so focused on running the day-to-day aspects of your business that you don’t even want to think about the ins and outs of your I.T. system.
The good news? You definitely don’t have to speak “geek” to still get a quality ROI on your I.T. Whether you’re doing a major system overhaul or just refining a few tools in your toolkit, I.T. investment has the potential to both reduce your business costs and increase your revenue in very measurable ways. Aside from things that can be quantified, it can also help your company improve productivity, boost customer service capabilities, increase the accuracy of your information and help your business gain a competitive edge in the market.