Measuring the return on technology investments has long been a challenge for organizations—in addition to the obvious expenses, there are numerous hidden costs that must be figured into the total expenditure. Factors like deployment time, unused seats, and user adoption can diminish return on investment (ROI) and get in the way of successful implementation.
Organizations cannot afford wasted investments—indeed, what they don’t know CAN hurt them.
But accurately measuring ROI has never been more important than it is today. Software changes frequently and business goals shift often, leaving the average employee overwhelmed, overworked and over-demanded. A snapshot of today’s employees looks like this:
- They consume five times more information than they did 30 years ago
- 70 percent say they feel distracted at work
- Most people have very little time for learning—five hours or less per week on average
The pace of business shows no sign of slowing, either. Both Gartner and IDG predict an increase in IT spending this year. Organizations cannot afford wasted investments—indeed, what they don’t know can hurt them. Consider the following:
- It takes about 10 months to deploy new technology—organizations are still paying for every seat license during that time.
- On average, companies waste 37 percent of what they spend on software, which costs more than $30 billion or about $259 per desktop, according to a report by UK software company 1E.
- Respondents to a Gartner study indicated that their organizations primarily use only six of the 18 identified Office elements—Office ProPlus and Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business Online. Usage of Teams, Power BI and others were significantly lower, some as low as 30 percent.
- In addition, while nearly 75 percent of respondents to the Gartner survey said they use SharePoint, they assigned it an average of 14 points out of 100 for value. The gap between usage and value was even wider for OneNote, Teams, OneDrive for Business, and Skype for Business.
Why is so much business technology going to waste? The main reason is a lack of training and support, which limits users’ ability to actively and effectively use software. More broadly, the findings from the Gartner and IDG studies reveal organizations’ lack of focus on the human side of technology implementation.
For today’s workforce, training must be quick, effective and relevant to their jobs. It should be available when they need it, and accessible from anywhere and on any device. Most importantly, it should be ongoing and designed to meet rapidly changing needs.
Increased spending alone doesn’t stimulate growth—people are a key factor. For organizations, that means first gaining a true understanding of ROI, then putting that knowledge to use with a comprehensive digital adoption solution—complete with change management, learning, support, and continuous learning services.
Jen is an award-winning journalist who writes about workplace productivity and technology for Vitalyst. She believes in the power of using plain language, especially when writing about technology, and lists “achieving and enabling clarity” among her life goals.