Savings to Build a House
Last week a prospective client asked us how BoardEffect users typically measure organizational cost savings from using our product. This is a relatively common question, which isn’t surprising given that virtually all organizations today operate with budget constraints. But this frequent and seemingly simple request implies a range of related questions centered around calculating Return on Investment (ROI). In an effort to address this question completely but concisely, I’ve broken this into a two-part response. The first post articulates a way to think about and justify the general cost of implementing a board portal versus the most common, “free” alternatives. This second post offers a framework for comparing the cost of commercial off-the-shelf software versus the prospect of making a larger investment to build one’s own custom board portal solution.
The costs of implementing a commercial board portal are pretty straightforward. For products like BoardEffect, there is an annual subscription cost and the cost of internal resources needed to administer the system.
For organizations with in-house development resources with time and talent, building a solution in-house to manage board information is a more complex, but nonetheless alluring, option. This path has the inherent advantage that your organization can tailor the solution to your specifications, and have in-house support for training, implementation and ongoing maintenance. Additionally, this approach can be made less daunting and faster to execute by using an existing framework, such as your organization’s website or SharePoint, as a foundation. This can then be leveraged by having your in-house IT team customize it to your needs. For some organizations this can seem like an attractive, cost-effective way to get a board portal solution that is fit for purpose.