In business, if you were to ask a group of executives to name their top five investments which have a measurable positive return on investment (ROI), you would probably see many of the same, usual suspects on their lists: ad programs, salespeople, fulfillment systems, marketing infrastructure, lead generation programs, to cite a few.
That checks out. Sales and marketing investments are usually viewed through the lens of ROI, and as well they should. But what about the ROI of technology investments? Forbes recently cited eleven top IT investments businesses will make in 2021 — and they include investments like cloud migration, communication automation, employee engagement and digital customer experiences.
But there’s another big one to add to the list — one that’s all too often ignored yet has a huge impact on business efficiency… a top-flight information management system. It’s traditionally been classified as an intangible that presents significant benefit, but sometimes challenging to quantify the return on investment.
M-Files has just released a newly published study commissioned with Forrester Consulting to apply research methodologies and answer the question, once and for all: What is the ROI of an intelligent information management system for an enterprise-level organization?
The research report, The Total Economic Impact of M-Files — which is available for download here — provides business managers a competent framework to evaluate the potential impact of intelligent information management, and M-Files specifically, on their organizations.
In the film Moneyball, about a baseball team pursuing a data-driven, analytical approach to the game, one character explains that evaluating players is all about boiling their value down to one number. That’s what Forrester has done through their research. They’ve interviewed several M-Files customers to arrive at one number — the ROI of M-Files intelligent information management for these organizations — and the findings will exceed your expectations.
Nearly 270% Return on Investment
Let’s just start with the number you really want.
The customer interviews and financial analysis found that a composite organization (based on the 5 companies interviewed) experienced benefits of over $5 million, over a three-year period. Compared to the accompanying costs, that added up to an ROI of 267%.
Let me just state that plainly. For every dollar an organization spends on M-Files intelligent information management, they will potentially realize a return of nearly $2.70, over three years. The impact cannot be understated.
You might say, “So, we can find documents easier. How does that equate to such a large ROI number?”
The answer is simple: an enterprise-class intelligent information management system like M-Files is so much more than just storing documents and finding them a couple minutes faster than before.
Below you’ll find the top four quantifiable benefits from the study — although we highly recommend you check out the report for a comprehensive analysis.
The Impact of Finding Documents with Lightning-Fast Accuracy
Gartner says that professionals spend 50% of their time searching for information, and on average, take 18 minutes to locate each document. Amplified throughout a large organization, that presents significant slowdowns in productivity.
How much time (and money) can be saved with a more efficient search?
The Forrester Total Economic Impact research reveals that organizations achieve more efficient searching for documents by 40%, with savings up to almost $1.65 million.
Why? Several reasons.
M-Files connects to all the systems and nooks and crannies where information hides. It’s the problem of dark data — which is the information assets an organization collects, processes and stores during regular business activities, but generally fails to use for other purposes, including analytics. Ultimately, it is content that is important to a business that has become invisible because it can’t be found effectively. M-Files connects to existing systems to present information no matter where it lives. Imagine a world where it doesn’t matter if the information you need is in your CRM, SharePoint, ERP, network folders, wherever.
A single keyword is all you need to find information. Metadata underpins the entire M-Files intelligent information management platform and it’s what enables you to find what you need with just a keyword.
Find content with Google-like results. In M-Files, simply enter a keyword (and a filter or two, if you want), and the system returns a search window with the most relevant results at the top. Again, no matter where your information is stored, M-Files reaches across your entire information ecosystem to present the most relevant search results.
The Impact of Improving Compliance and Audit Processes
In the event of an audit or compliance issue, chasing files down on employees’ laptops and searching through dreaded paper files can present a significant expenditure of resources and time.
The Forrester Total Economic Impact research reveals that M-Files helped organizations enhance their compliance and audit processes by up to 25%, with savings over $583,000.
In addition to providing enterprise-level security to safeguard the security and privacy of an organization’s data, M-Files features full audit trails for every document that reveals who has accessed the document, and what actions they took. M-Files customers can find a full document lifecycle in a couple clicks — for every file in their ecosystem.
In regulated industries, compliance audits can be the exhaustive and demanding. Needless to say, the impact of improving compliance processes with M-Files, especially in the event of an audit, is significant. Users can find and access all required documentation in minutes, instead of days.
The Impact of Properly Classifying Business Documents
What if it didn’t matter where a document lived, but only what the document is? That’s what organizations get with M-Files and it’s a powerful capability. The “what it is” sits at the heart of the M-Files intelligent information management platform.
Every file has metadata associated with it — meaningful descriptions that serve to classify and index those files. At a glance, users can determine what a document is, what it pertains to and other important data about that file. Not only that, but M-Files comes with AI and automation features embedded at the core of the solution, automating the process of categorizing and indexing documents across departments. In fact, in a recent M-Files survey, 82% of workers reported that it would be a benefit to have a system that could automatically name or tag a document.
The Forrester Total Economic Impact research reveals that M-Files helped organizations improve the categorizing and indexing of documents, by 60%, with a benefit over nearly $825,000.
The Impact of Creating and Sustaining Revenue
We’ve pointed to significant time-savings detailed in the Forrester research thus far. But M-Files plays a significant factor in helping organizations attract and retain business. M-Files provides users with a single source of truth to view all information needed to make informed business decisions to drive better business outcomes.
M-Files helps to streamline the process of creating and managing agreements, contracts and client documentation. For example, sales and marketing personnel become the beneficiaries of a 360-degree view of prospects and clients, their needs and the documentation associated with the revenue generation process.
In addition, firms may find that they have an easier time retaining clients. With M-Files, employees have unprecedented visibility across information silos to ultimately be able to serve clients more effectively. Without the need to locate client information which may be scattered across the entire information ecosystem, the entirety of pertinent customer data and content is available in a few clicks.
The Forrester Total Economic Impact research reveals that M-Files helped organizations add revenue because of better documentation, up to almost $750,000.
… And Much, Much More
While we’ve pointed out the highlights of The Total Economic Impact of M-Files report, it remains a must-read for organizations in determining the potential financial impact of intelligent information management.
In addition to the points raised in this article, the report also features a ton of other metrics around the ROI of effective content management. Other factors included in the report are:
The cost-savings in decommissioning existing legacy systems
The effect of streamlining document creation
The power of consistency in document creation
What it means to truly enable remote work from anywhere in the world
These and many other quantifiable (and unquantifiable) benefits are exposed in this ground-breaking report. For a complete analysis of benefits and costs, an explanation of the methodology and a rich overview of the potential impact of intelligent information management, download your copy of the report.