Intranet ROI Remains an Elusive Metric

A recent survey on intranet return-on-investment (ROI) conducted by Prescient Digital Media, found precise ROI measurement is lacking in a vast majority of organizations, with most making only rough estimates or just plain guessing.

“The study reveals that while few organizations are making precise measurements, many more are making rough estimates or planning to undertake more precise measurements,” said Toby Ward, the survey’s author and president of Prescient, a Toronto-based intranet and extranet strategy and planning firm. “People value ROI, and want to measure it, but most haven’t yet.”

Despite all the talk of measuring ROI, the study finds that only six percent of organizations undertake ongoing, specific measurement of their corporate intranet investment. Twenty-six percent undertake only occasional measurement, and 51% do no measurement, don’t know if they do, or they guess. But 18% are considering instituting some specific ROI measurement practices.

The study drew responses from more than 240 participants from a wide variety of organizations including KPMG, Volvo, Shell, Royal Bank, New York Life, Hewlett Packard and others. Of the organizations surveyed, 60% had 1,000 users or more, and 21% had fewer than 100 users.

Key findings include:

  • ROI is important or very important to 76% of the respondent organizations;
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents state their intranet has improved productivity;
  • Only a slight majority (52%) of organizations said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their intranet, while 36% said they are dissatisfied;
  • Of specific benefits, content management is most commonly measured (20%), followed by communications (18%) and application access (17%);
  • The average annual ROI of respondent intranets fell just shy of $1 million ($979,775.58); and
  • Sixty percent of respondent organizations had 1000 users or more while 21% had fewer than 100 users; 25% of the respondents have 1,000-5,000 intranet users.

    The study also found content management, at 31%, to exhibit the best ROI. And, while communications ROI came in at only 11%, it ranked No.2 on respondent’s lists of most important intranet functionality.