Once upon a time… I had begun my diploma thesis with the title “Return on Investment of Social Software – Enterprise Microblogging within enterprises”.
It focuses on three topics
- First of all the classical methods of profitability analysis should be analyzed and investigated for the usage of Social Software
- Second new methods should be found, this was quiet hard
- last but not least, a case study should be developed for the proof of concept
But one after the other.
New questions appear within companies.
- How do I secure the future viability / competitiveness my company?
- How can I quickly and accurately respond to ever-shorter market cycles?
- How do I improve my ability to innovate and secure / improve my position?
- How can I improve the productivity of my staff through collaboration and communication?
- What can current trends, such as “Enterprise 2.0” or “Social Software” do for my company and what it means when I’m idle in these areas?
The model is inspired by three main approaches of profitability analysis. The first approach is the so called Total Economic Impact or TEI model.
- Costs will be accessed via the Total Cost of ownership framework
- benefits are mainly measured with qualitative and quantitative Interviews and surveys
- Flexibility is the most nebulous dimension in the framework, it is used to describe future perspectives, which can be reached with this investment.
- Risks are considered for all three dimensions mentioned before.
The next apporach is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Enterprise 2.0 ROI from Carpenter.
This pyramid lit Enterprise 2.0 and Social Software with less framework related thoughts and is mainly based on the measureability of benefits and their impact to the company.
The last thoughts are first mentioned by Rischler and Bächle (the source is only available in German). In their Enterprise 2.0 study they identified 3 main categories of benefit and risk categories, organisation, individual and technology.
The new conceptual approach is combining those three theories and should be understood as a guidance to identify and determine benefits, risks and costs within the enterprise with Social Software related projects.
This model is not the final approach for ROI determination of Social Software, but still a already further. What do you think about this dimensions and the hierarchy of the benefits?!