Three questions to ask when evaluating software ROI

In the weeks, months, and years following “successful” implementations, the residual costs of unused or underused software often snowball into more complicated issues that organizations must tackle in order to maximize the ROI for their existing data and analytics investments.  We don’t think implementation alone is enough.  In order to truly derive value from these investments, they must be fully integrated into an organization’s operations. 

Here are a few questions to keep in mind when reviewing whether you have realized the expected ROI of past software implementations. 

  1. Exactly how much money is going towards support for unused or underused software? 
  2. When and how should organizations cut off that support? 
  3. Who is responsible for monitoring and reporting these costs in the future? 

We find that major ERPs are rarely the culprit, and instead, it’s the niche, middle-tier providers that often fly under the radar.  This makes it extra tricky because the software that these vendors provide is often purchased by individuals or departments independent of the IT organization, and sometimes even expensed by individual employees as if it were a routine business expense, like an airline ticket or hotel room. 

If this sounds like you, don’t fret.  Unrealized ROI is a fairly universal issue for organizations of all sizes.  With that said, it’s time for an honest conversation about the high costs lurking beneath these past investments.  We recommend sitting down with a tech-agnostic, third-party consultancy with no skin in the game to evaluate installed software for licensing inefficiencies, evaluate options to resolve them, and help put measures in place to prevent them in the future. 

With the right combination of strategic roadmapping and meaningful training, we believe organizations can extend each implementation into a truly valuable integration. Simply having the best collection of carpentry tools will not build a house, but integrating those tools with the proper training and processes can build a beautiful one.

About the Author

Andre Wolosewicz 

Andre Wolosewicz is the Director of Sales at HEXstream.  He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and has spent over 20 years in analytics with industry experience focusing on Operations and Supply Chain Management.  Andre has six patents issued and nine pending related to machine learning and data processing.  Outside of work, Andre is the treasurer for a local region of the American Youth Soccer Organization and the Lyons Township High School Boosters.

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