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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

By itdebate ·
Gartner argues that enterprises need to consider how to direct their intranet investments and where returns should be expected. Do you feel that the costs of intranets need to be justified? How do you justify the cost of your organizations intranet?

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by Cooger In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

I don't think that there is an issue with actually having to justify investment in Intranet costs, it's just that we IT people tend to see the benefits and thus we'd tend to go for Intranet investment. The problem is that our organisations are not always run by technical people, or rather, the people approving the investment need to juggle the cash between many different investments, so rather than justifying costs, the issue is more about creating an awareness of the benefits involved and actually quantifying benefits in terms of time and money costs saved. It is important to have senior management and decision makers' involvement in any studies carried out to identify such benefits as, from a business point of view, what the investor is concerned with is actually returns rather than leading-edge technology.

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by itdebate In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

Your answer was featured in our IT Debate TechMail. To receive your free subscription to the IT Debate TechMail, sign up at http://www.techrepublic.com/techmails.jhtml

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by rlehman In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

It seems to me that an Intranet is no different than any other investment or project. I have talked with numerous people who have developed extense intranets only to wonder why people don't reference them more. The beginning step is defining and creating content that will provide real value and/or cost savings to the organization. And then, like any new implementation, the value is only received when the site is actually used. It seems that without a rigorous approach, including cost justification and a "marketing" plan, an intranet can be a poor investment.

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by itdebate In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

Your answer was featured in our IT Debate TechMail. To receive your free subscription to the IT Debate TechMail, sign up at http://www.techrepublic.com/techmails.jhtml

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by Wayne M. In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

Of course intranet costs need to be justified. What is more important than justifying the cost, however, is approaching the problem from a business needs stand point.

Start out by selecting a business need, and then determining what alternativesthere are to solve the need. I believe that if you don't find at least 3 alternate approaches you haven't done a full analysis of the problem. Once I have identified the problem and the approaches, then I create a simple table listing the approaches and various benefits and deficiencies. I then rate them using a simple --, -, 0, +, ++ scale. This usually provides enough information for the proposal to be evaluated.

The key point is, do not try to justify improved technology, instead analyze a business problem and determine which technologies may help solve it.

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by itdebate In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...
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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by ann.feeney In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...

An intranet is an almost infinitely versatile tool, as some of Gartner's illustrations point out. The real issue of justifying an investment is finding out what questions or problems your organization is trying to solve, and positioning (eek, I never thought I'd actually use that term--marketing has gotten to me!) your intranet as a large part of the answer.

For example:
Cost savings--focus on how it reduces publishing costs.
Faster response time--focus on how it enables faster access to tools for decision-making.
Increased collaboration--focus on it as a communication and sharing tool.

(Sometimes management's questions and the organization's questions won't be the same. Management might be looking just at savings, but the organization's question is "how can we avoid duplicating effort?" An intranet can be versatile enough to answer one question through answering another.)

This method can justify the cost, showing, "We can afford this." The second part is showing "We can't afford not to."

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IT Debate: Justifying Intranet Investmen

by itdebate In reply to IT Debate: Justifying Int ...
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