Just relaxing after hosting a vibrant Intranets Live show yesterday with around 300 intranet managers and teams joining from 20 countries globally. We had a hectic programme with live tours from Arup, Razorfish and BT - plus great studio guests including Mark Morrell, Intranet Manager at BT and Sandy Blair, also from BT, Candace Cahill, Intranet Manager for Philips Healthcare, Julian Diamond, Head of Information Management & Associate Director at Arup and Shiv Singh from Razorfish.
In part of the show we introduced a new Intranet Financial Value Benchmark from IBF and discussed a recent deployment of the service within BT. For years, no one running intranets has a clear idea about the true financial value of the services they manage. Chief Information Officers and Chief Financial Officers ask the question "so what is the intranet worth?" and the response was "no idea!".
As we developed this new financial measurement and benchmarking service, most teams, even in major enterprise intranets, felt that answering this "six million dollar" question was impossible. Too intangible…..like valuing email……etc.
So now we have a proven methodology that can tell any intranet manager the actual and potential financial value of the services they run. And the figures are dramatic; far higher than anyone expected. In fact, on a poll on Intranets Live yesterday, 75 per cent of our listeners and viewers said they believed their intranets were worth less than £5M annually.
What is concerning now that the answer is at hand, is that a minority of intranet managers and heads of online services think having a financial valuation is unneccessary because "we get funding anyhow". Oh dear!
Here are my five reasons why EVERY major organisation must know the financial value of their intranet services:
1. If you know your intranet is worth $100M an you spend $3M a year (standard level figures in our experience) – you have an ROI of more than 30:1 – how many shared services can cite figure like that?
2. Until your CFO, CTO and CIO believe about hard financial values, you will be disabled as a business area. Yes, people will tell you how valuable you are in general terms but businesses thrive on financial data.
3. If you don't know what you have now, you cannot know the untapped financial potential. When you ask for $1M for a new search engine, showing a payback of $20M in year one is vital.
4. As other major players get their intranets valued, the question will come up: so what is our intranet worth? Being behind the curve weakens you as a business manager.
5. You manage assets worth between $20M – $1 billion – but you have no reliable evidence to support that so that reality is hidden. Get the numbers and watch your own salary, status and career progress. From cost centre to revenue generator!
Yes, it is in the interest of IBF that organisations know the financial value of their intranets. But what concerns me is that intranet departments may not see this a great chance to raise their game. It is time to step forward, evidence the dollar values and start shaping the productivity strategy for the company.
Put your intranet on your balance sheet as an asset!