Show me the money – the ROI of Enterprise Search
Justifying an expenditure in any organization is tough. Even with a riches to rags economy it has never been easy. Justifying a ‘new’ application is even tougher and as a vendor we are experiencing a surge in reviewing every detail during the sales process as well as documenting a solid ROI.
Not only from the financial perspective, changing or adding an application opens a whole host of issues such as end user adoption, new business processes, an initial hit on productivity, support, and sorting out how we expect it to work as opposed to how it actually does work. Welcome to the real world.
ROI for enterprise search is a challenge. Do bells and whistles equate to ROI – nice to haves but not really. The end goal is the ability to find relevant and precise content as quickly as possible and easy for end users, regardless of the query terms used. How is this quantified? If you use analyst statistics, it becomes easy, if an organization will buy off on them. And to be quite honest, most prospects do.
You ultimately will increase productivity, improve decision making, reduce organizational risk, and the list goes on. However, those are rather nebulous as most organizations don’t know what the cost of poor enterprise search is now, only that no one can find what they are looking for. But ROI is more than just cost savings and must also factor in the cost of the investment itself.
Have you used any valid scenarios in estimating the ROI for enterprise search?