How valuable is your intranet?

How much does your organisation benefit from your intranet?  Could you put a figure on the value it provides if asked?  Probably not………..

BT’s intranet is nearly 14 years old.  We measured the benefits of moving from paper to online information; the saving in accommodation costs and not having rows of cupboards with duplicated versions of policies; even the productivity savings by being able to do things quicker like looking up a phone no.

But that was over 10 years ago and the figures are not relevant now.  Apart from traditional methods like return on investment, how can you measure the overall value an intranet gives? 

In BT we all know our intranet gives great value.  It is a business critical system.  Without our intranet BT would quickly start to grind to a halt or slow to a pace of working completely unacceptable to our customers.  But what value can be used to justify future investment decisions?

While some new applications and ways of communicating can start small, be beta tested, then investment justified on the benefits found, it won’t work with major infrastructure projects like content management systems, federated search engines, etc.

If anyone has the answer out there, please end your silence and tell everyone!  However I suspect no one does know………..yet.

BT is working with the Intranet Benchmarking Forum (we’re a global member) to try to do just that.  IBF have identified 200 business functions that can rely on intranets to be effective.  BT has chosen around 20 that have the biggest impact on our organisation.

The business function owners will be interviewed over the next few weeks and the data given will be evaluated to give a figure for the overall value of our intranet that is robust and stands up to scrutiny when a business case is made for investment.

I have no idea if this will succeed but if it does, it will fill a big gap in justifying more precisely how valuable our intranet is to BT.

I’ll keep you posted on progress and the outcome if you’re interested.

7 responses to “How valuable is your intranet?

  1. What will you do with the output i.e. the PowerPoint slide which says: ‘The BT Intranet is worth £xxm’? 😉

  2. Richard,

    Good question! The most important thing is it doesn’t stay as just a figure in a report or slide. I hope the people who decide intranet investment will take into account this figure instead of just ROI and approve more business cases because they have a better understanding of the overall value our intranet provides.


  3. At the same time, will you be looking at risk management with the owners of these business applications? Assuming your move is to putting more and more on the intranet, it might be the appropriate time to see what measures they have in place (before or after putting their app on the intranet). I was surprised to see that risk management had a relatively low rating when I asked Global Intranet Survey participants to rate the issues they found the most relevant. One manager came back to me saying they had taken all the precautions necessary. My guess is that most haven’t. Am I wrong?

  4. Jane,

    We’re looking at the value for our whole intranet by extrapolating (is that the right word?!) the benefits from the top 20 business functions to indicate what it can be. So, it’s more than just applications.

    Risk management is one of the 200 business functions IBF have indentified.

    All our applications are already web enabled from our intranet. Risk assessments are carried out at all levels – intranet, application and individual – but it is how rigorously it is applied that decides what is the weakest link……….and how weak it is!

    Hope that helps.


  5. Pingback: Recommended Reading for Intranet Professionals - Week 32/2008 at Intranet Matters

  6. Pingback: BT’s intranet demonstrated on Intranets Live « Mark Morrell

  7. Pingback: I know what BT’s intranet is worth? What about yours? « Mark Morrell

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