Tuesday, 13 January 2009
SharePoint Cost Benefits and Business Savings
Apologies for the boring title, but this week I want to show you how SharePoint can really save your company money. In football (the European sort with the round ball, where you don’t have to have shoulder pads like an actress from an 80's American Soap) January brings the ‘Transfer Window’. A time when managers try to gamble on bringing in a player (or loads of players) who might turn-around their whole season. At the Villa the need for a backup striker is obvious, but how much should they spend and what will the return on the investment be. If they sign a striker for ten million and he scores the goals to qualify them for the Champions League (worth around twenty million) then that would be a good investment. Of course, nothing is guaranteed in football (except that Man United will always be allowed at least five minutes injury time if they are losing). So what about SharePoint as a signing? What Return on Investment should companies expect to see? This is a very difficult question to answer and it is interesting that Microsoft themselves don’t offer a document listing cost savings. Instead they list the ten benefits can be found at the following site; http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA101655201033.aspx Certainly some pretty impressive claims but you will notice no mention of actual financial savings. So how does an IT Manager, or Marketing Manager, sell the idea of SharePoint to their MD. The first thing they will be asked is how much will it cost and then, how much will it save? Perhaps it is not always possible to put a figure on the savings a system makes. For example (yes, I am going to offer another football comparison). If the Villa were to sign Michael Owen in the transfer window then he might turn out to be a valuable addition, but it would be difficult to put an exact value on his contribution. He might score vital goals, increase the sale of replica shirts, allow other players time to rest, encourage other top players to join the club, make one of the existing strikers work even harder to keep him out the team or just be sold in the summer to Manchester City for twice what we paid for him. Like the introduction of SharePoint Michael would affect all areas of the business. So in this ‘Credit Crunch’ time how can we show that by installing SharePoint will really help the bank balance? To try and help I have put together a list of ten ways that many companies have found SharePoint can save them both time and money. SharePoint Business Savings 1. Reduce Man Hours by allowing faster locating of information 2. Reduce Man Hours by increasing use of electronic forms 3. Reduce Costs of stationary by increasing use of electronic forms 4. Reduce Licensing Costs for 3rd Party business systems (SharePoint can replace many of these systems) 5. Reduce Costs of development work for 3rd Party business systems 6. Reduce IT Support Costs 7. Reduce IT Training Costs 8. Reduce Website Costs (using SharePoint system both Intranet and website). 9. Reduce response times to Sales leads (employees can access SharePoint remotely) 10. Reduce response times to possible problems (with ProActive Alerts with SharePoint Workflow) Hopefully you can start to see the possible savings from SharePoint but it is only when your SharePoint Project Team firsts sits down and looks at how SharePoint will be used that you see how many of your Business Processes could be streamlined by SharePoint. Systems like Expense Claims, IT Helpdesk, Staff Reviews, Meeting Room Bookings, Sales Orders, Holiday Requests and many more can all be moved to SharePoint to reduce time and costs. If you are starting a SharePoint Project then the Officetalk SharePoint Project Checklist is a great place to start and best of all (unlike Michael Owen) it is FREE. Just click the link below to request your copy. Free SharePoint Checklist Now, I shall just check the Sky Sports Transfer Centre website to see if a new striker will be on their way to Villa Park.
at 3:32 pm