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The Ultimate Bottom Line on ROI


There are lots of ways to think about the return on investment (ROI) of a document management and workflow automation solution. These calculators are extremely important in helping companies frame the short-term arguments for moving forward with a solution.

But the ultimate bottom line for any technology investment is long-term and somewhat qualitative and often anecdotal: Would you do it again? and How critical is this investment to your success? 

In reference to the first question, I have had many conversations with users over the years about their document and content management experiences. Not every project rolls out exactly in line with ROI calculator estimate – although at DocuWare we try to match expectations with reality at the outset of a project. At the core of every implementation is a central and simple question – Would you go back to doing things the way they were before?

Hand over heart, I can say that unlike many enterprise technology implementations, document management almost always passes this test.

Go back to paper? No, thank you.

Go back to manual processes? No, thank you.

Go back to business as usual? No, thank you.

I came across some AIIM data that reinforces this point – and speaks to the second question above – How critical is this investment to your success? 

The survey question for organizations with a content management system – not just DocuWare customers, but a broad cross-section of vendors – was this:

How long would it be before a system outage or major slowdown of your most critical content application would cause serious business disruption?

Less than 15 minutes


15 minutes to 1 hour


1 hour to 2 hours


2 hours to 4 hours


4 hours to 1 day


More than 1 day


Now THAT is “mission-critical.” And THAT seems like the ultimate ROI. A set of technologies with:

  • proven short-term ROI;
  • users who would not go back to the world they had before;
  • and a critical role in maintaining business continuity.

cloud-based content management