| WebProWorld IT Forum|
Slow FTP connection & occasional "time out"
On Friday last week I uploaded a website via ftp for a customer. The connection was fast and I did all the necessary configuring without any problems at all. The site is running perfectly.
A little help with inadvertant shutdown
I am currently working on a HP 742C home PC. The problem is it shuts down either durring startup or minutes after startup. I tried Removing the PCI cards...
Lexus Talks to a Blog to Squash Virus Rumors
ZDNet reports that car maker Lexus denied that the Cabir wireless worm poses a risk to the Bluetooth-capable navigation systems featured in some of its vehicles ...
Researchers Working On New Protection Methods
The way you type when working at a computer may be the foundation for a new password system being tested by researchers from 2 major universities.
Samsung Debuts First DDR3 Memory Chip
South Korean electronics giant Samsung has introduced a prototype DDR3 DRAM memory module, which will be twice as fast as the current DDR2 architecture.
Growing New IT Managers
Where will your next generation of IT managers come from? For most senior IT leaders, the answer is that they will hire them.
IBM, Sony, and Toshiba Make With Cell Details
IBM, Sony, and Toshiba released details on the Cell microprocessor, which has been developed by the three companies together.
Intranet Project Names
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet." In this famous quote from Act II of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and the fact he is a Montague and she a Capulet (warring families) means nothing to their love.
Intranet Portal Project - RAD or Waterfall?
In this short article, David Viney examines whether Rapid Application Development (RAD) or Waterfall development methodologies should be used during Intranet Portal projects.
Tech Analyst Giants Group Blog
Did you know that stalwart tech analysts Rob Enderle, Richard Doherty and Tim Bajarin have a group blog ... I didn't. The blog, called Technology Pundits, features the writings of the three most well-known analysts in the industry.
Bill Gates Touts Interoperability, XML
In an executive email appearing on Microsoft's site, Bill Gates talked about his vision for future software interaction and some of the methods he wants to use to arrive there. Gates' idea for the scope of future applications made use of the word "Interoperability". Working to make different types of software work together in the business world is what Gates considers to be crucial to success.
A-List Bloggers Hacked
InternetNews.com: A bug in a popular log file analysis program has been exploited by attackers ... who were then able to deface a popular blog and other Web sites.
Satisfying IT Customers May Be a Bad Idea
Most IT departments I encounter say "customer satisfaction" is among their key goals. Unfortunately, this idea seems to lead too often to poor results. While the sentiments are laudable, the law of unintended consequences seems to interfere. Goals are tricky things.
Clustering Solutions and Zero Downtime Hosting Pitfalls
There are a number of benchmarks, which we may use to evaluate hosting companies. One of these is, reliability. Like most things in this life, reliability in web hosting is typically a function of how much we are willing to spend for it.
Intranet Portal - Business Case ROI
By David Viney
The days of easy money are over In these post-dot-com days of the 21st Century, the hype attached to IT is well and truly over.
The modern Board is deeply suspicious of large IT projects with questionable benefits and a long-term payback period.
The good news is that a world-class portal implementation has the power to completely transform your organisation and touch everyone, from the office of your CEO to the lady in the canteen.
First a little on Costs
Sorry, but the cost of the software is only a relatively small part of the overall bill; with other major costs in hardware, process change and integration activities. Your first (and major) portal project is (in terms of cost) more an infrastructure investment than it is an application.
As a rough rule of thumb (for a user base >10,000), budget for £250 per desktop to put in the essentials (including portal and content management solutions). If you are also integrating to (and exposing) your ERP or CRM systems, add £150.
Based on my experience, Direct Benefits (those that you can directly bake into line budgets and make an individual directorate accountable for realising) are only 20-25% of the total prize and will not generally cover the portal implementation costs by themselves. Direct benefits include reduced printing and distribution costs, decommissioning legacy intranets and FTE savings in operational areas (including IT development & support, Finance & Procurement ledger processing and HR employee services).
Soft Benefits include improved employee satisfaction, better communication and corporate belonging, the importance of which should not be under-estimated in your business case. After all, there is always an emotional, as well as a rational, reason for every purchasing decision.
However, the bulk of portal benefits are Indirect Benefits, where time saved in line areas leads to (for example) reduced call times in call centres, higher sales, faster time to market for new products, fewer failed projects and so on. Benefits realisation is the issue with such benefits. After all, you can't fire 10 minutes of a person a day! The time they have saved is real - ultimately saving cost and driving sales - but it cannot be readily tracked to either.
Making the Business Case: A 10 Step Approach
In the Business Case chapter of my (free to access) Intranet Portal Guide (see http://www.viney.com/DFV/) I outline a 10 step approach to making the portal business case.
1) Seek External Legitimacy: Consider using a leading consulting firm to lend weight to the business case. They can bring with them experience (from having done it before elsewhere), a knowledgebase (of facts and figures about the benefits other companies have achieved) and a fresh perspective on your organisation, valued by executives.
2) Benchmark other Organisations: I have included in my guide details of public-domain benefit claims from early UK & US portal adopters, including British Airways, BP, Ford Motors Company, IBM, Bell South, Dow, Cisco and BT. Showing your Board that others have delivered real benefits lessens the feeling that their decision is a `leap of faith'.
3) Collect Hard Metrics: Direct benefits may be only 15-25% of your total benefits, so work hard to identify savings in Intranet & Collaborative decommissioning; Print, Postage & Distribution Costs, Processing Manpower reductions; and Third Party expenditure savings.
4) Use a Comprehensive Time Survey: In my guide, I suggest that you survey several hundred (representative) users to establish how much time per day they expect to save by using key portal functionality. This will help you to put a financial value on indirect benefits. I outline 10 sample questions and provide benchmark results you could expect to see.
5) Build a Wall of Benefits: When you are trying to build an ROI based on indirect benefits, you can expect those benefits to be challenged vigorously. By having literally hundreds of individual line items and a big overall total, you improve your chances of surviving the Finance `Red Pen'. In my guide, I outline 101 benefit ideas to get you going.
6) Link to the Strategic Agenda: Tie the investment closely to the Strategic Agenda of your organisation. If there is another key initiative currently grabbing all the attention at board level (e.g. CRM or ERP) then make sure your portal case complements, or ideally completes, that strategic picture. Use camouflage if necessary, as all is fair in love and war!
7) Identify 2-3 Killer Apps: That will focus the attention (and support) of key sponsors. Look for win-win apps, where the user loves using them but the provider department also extracts key benefits. For example, a self-service HR application where the employee can keep their details up-to-date easily and the company can reduce employee service heads.
8) Use a Cost Avoidance Argument: Your investment will reduce future project costs. After all, a portal is essentially a free infrastructure, a free user interface, a free user client with pre-built security & authentication and a free development framework. HP and others have saved up to 20% on development costs, post-implementation. You could too, so raid the budgets of other approved projects!
9) Consider Larger Scope: Could you make your case if you include internet and extranet in scope? An extranet allows you to securely expose part of your intranet to selected third parties, including B2B customers, suppliers, regulators and government agencies. The incremental cost is quite low, once your intranet platform is there, but the benefits can be large!
10) Use Innovative Phasing: Most companies budget on an annual cycle and are under huge pressure from investors to deliver short-term profitability. The bitter pill of portal costs might be easier to swallow if you spread the implementation over a two-year period.
Making the business case for a corporate Intranet Portal will not be easy. You will need all your reserves of patience, cunning and good old-fashioned hard work. Good luck and don't forget to check my guide for more detail, help and tools.
|About the Author:|
David Viney (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of the Intranet Portal Guide; 31 pages of advice, tools and downloads covering the period before, during and after an Intranet Portal implementation.
Read the guide at http://www.viney.com/DFV or the Intranet Watch Blog at http://www.viney.com/intranet_watch.