Forrester Report: Content Management Solutions Deliver 68% ROI Over 3 Years

Bil Khan

Part 1 in the Content Management ROI series

According to a recent study by Forrester, few companies investing in enterprise content management (ECM) solutions take the time to develop a business case first. In most cases, the drivers for investment are so great that management is forced to implement a solution, and time is of the essence. For example, a health insurance provider, biopharmaceutical company, or law firm may be legally obligated to manage content for compliance with specific regulations or privacy mandates.

Leading content management solutions are designed from the ground up to solve these kinds of challenges. The best solutions combine secure and automated capture, storage, and organization of documents with powerful archiving, records management, and imaging functionality, as well as support for team collaboration, collaborative workflows, and search and retrieval functions. Together, these capabilities give companies extraordinary control, security, and transparency over processes involving any number of structured and unstructured documents, both within and beyond the enterprise.

Beyond compliance

But, as many companies have learned after their initial implementations, ECM software can deliver business value far beyond the initial “point solution” purpose initially identified. It’s actually the foundation for an enterprise digital strategy that enables companies to:

  • Transform unstructured information – which makes up 80% of all new information – into searchable, storable, usable information
  • Enable secure, multichannel delivery of digital documents and correspondence anytime, anywhere
  • Digitally transform essential line-of-business operations
  • Provide the necessary context for digital content, enabling people to come together and develop the ideas that drive innovation and competitive advantage

So it’s no surprise that after implementing ECM and related content management solutions, many organizations realize huge and unexpected benefits across their business. These benefits can be related to any process with any content related to it – especially unstructured content.

Quantified ROI based on financial modeling

A recent Forrester TEI study attempted to quantify these benefits – and the results may well surprise you. Forrester interviewed seven companies and used data collected to build a comprehensive financial model to estimate the potential benefits of content management solutions. The study found that a typical model organization would see benefits of US$4.4 million over three years versus costs of $2.6 million, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $1.8 million and an ROI of 68%.

The following risk-adjusted quantified present value (PV) benefits are representative of those experienced by the companies interviewed:

  • $1.29 million savings in remote access to archived documents. A typical organization – one similar to the model business used in the TEI study – can accrue $1.29 million over three years by providing access to data and technical diagrams to customer-facing field staff via mobile devices.
  • $504,000 in savings from automation of product documentation. Forrester calculated $504,000 in time saved by merging product, customer, and compliance data to auto-generate documents, consolidating content residing in silos into a single integrated platform.
  • $1.145 million in savings through automation of invoice management and related vendor and customer correspondence. Together, these are worth nearly $809,000, plus $336,000 in additional early-payment discounts.
  • $1.5 million in reduced costs from printer network streamlining, compliance cost reduction, storage cost savings, and decommissioning old tools.

These results can help you develop a business rationale for ECM solutions and justify going digital. And if you’ve already begun investing in content management solutions, these results can help you “back into” a strong use case for new content management solutions or an expanded rollout.

To learn more, download Forrester’s survey summary here.