ROI: Defining the Return on Investment for Information Governance Software

Without hard revenues or growth statistics, it’s often challenging to define the ROI for implementing an information governance solution.  Organizations often struggle to quantify the results, leaving executives skeptical about the investment.

An inherent challenge is the variety of different components that can comprise an overall information governance solution, and thus, the corresponding investment.Some of the key variables that determine your information governance expenses include:

  • Project Management & Planning:  Who will manage the project?  Will all departments be giving input and feedback with the software solution?
  • Number of Users: Typically the more users, the higher the cost.
  • Programming:  Does your organization require any special features or usability requirements?
  • Training – Training will incur additional expenses and staff time, and depend on the depth of necessary onboarding.
  • Support – Costs related to support can vary greatly depending on whether support is 100 percent outsourced, 100 percent internal, or a combination of the two.
  • Storage – Cost per GB may be a small initial investment, but expect data volumes and the associated cost for storage to grow.

After the costs are defined, many executives want a clear picture of ROI.  The results from your information governance efforts can vary.  The ROI might actually be negative in some instances if you develop the wrong plan or implement the wrong software.  On the other hand, ROI from an information governance solution can be millions of dollars in either direct revenue from finding critical business documents, or in cost savings by avoiding damaging litigation.

Below are seven of the leading places to look for information governance ROI:

  1. Implementation & Maintaining:  The upfront cost and hours spent during implementation plus the cost of on-going expenses such as hosting fees, and staffing give you a break even point for your ROI.  The lower these costs are the faster you’ll start seeing positive ROI.
  2. Storage Reduction:  The fastest way organizations start seeing ROI from their information governance efforts is an ability to stop using off-site storage, costly back-ups, and the ability to defensibly delete information.
  3. eDiscovery:  eDiscovery is a substantial financial burden, and one case can cost millions in discovery costs.  Implementing information governance can substantially reduce these costs by decreasing review times, helping you avoid legal expenses, and costly unfavorable outcomes.
  4. Productivity:  Employees spend countless hours a week trying to locate and re-create documents they are unable to find.  The time savings can have an immediate impact on ROI and effect top-line growth.
  5. Litigation: More organized and thorough data can result in higher litigation success rates.
  6. IT Resources: Information governance practices can free up the time and cost of using internal resources for archiving, eDiscovery, and overall information management.
  7. Security: Information governance can reduce additional spending on security.  It can also reduce data breaches and theft.

With so many variables to consider, it’s a difficult market for buyers to determine the best solution.  Everyone knows someone who made a bad investment in the wrong technology.

Even so, an archive is not a place to save money.  The difference between a $50k and $100k investment in the right technology might seem substantial, but one might translate into hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars actualized over time.  Your information governance partner should help identify where spending needs to be made and where savings can be realized, so that ROI is not only clear, but substantial.

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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