Cost of Unused Software

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IT Department Costs

When evaluating software, a business must consider cost, effectiveness, and how it will be maintained. When vetting a vendor, a business should consider multiple aspects such as how long they have been in business, their customer base, how they will communicate, and how they will handle emergencies and security. The global IT budget for 2019 is predicted to be $3.85 billion.


  • Read reviews of your potential vendor.
  • Treat this process with the same care and seriousness you would use when hiring an employee.
  • It is helpful to create a spreadsheet for potential vendors with the criteria you need in your software.
  • Industry publications will help you identify market leaders. Forrester & Gartner publish these types of lists.
  • When vetting potential software vendors, a business should ask themselves the following questions:

    • How long have you been in business?
    • Who have you worked with in the past? Get a list of references with possible.
    • Who is on your team? This will help you get an idea of their skillset and experience.
    • How often will we communicate? How will we communicate? Make sure that after you sign the contract they will not disappear.
    • How do you approach IT? Are they proactive? Will they be actively reviewing your account for issues?
    • What is the process for implementation? Is there a timeline? What will happen first?
    • What do we do if there is an emergency? How fast can they respond? How do they bill for emergencies?
    • How can you help us plan for the future? Is your company on top of industry trends? What are they doing to keep up with ever-changing technology?
    • How do they charge?
    • If there are issues, what is the process to resolve them? If a potential company has no processes in place to deal with issues, you should be concerned.

    Due Diligence For Security When Vetting

    • Make sure your potential vendor has an information security policy in place. There should be "technical, physical, and administrative safeguards in place".
    • If a data breach should occur on their side your information should be protected. Is your information encrypted? Who will have access to your information?
    • Security updates should be performed regularly with systems in place to make sure it is done effectively.
    • Firewalls must meet industry standards as required by law.
    • Your vendor should have SSAE 16, or SOC 1 and 2 certifications show that your vendor has the controls in place to protect your information in regard to privacy and confidentiality.
    • Make sure their physical security policies are in place and are followed.
    • The Validation Center has a checklist for vetting.


    • When evaluating software, one should be objective and subjective between what the user needs and what they want their user experience to be.
    • Sustainability, usability, and maintainability should be considered.
    • An ideal time frame to evaluate software is one to two weeks of use.
    • Cost should be considered. Are there upfront costs or subscription costs?
    • A software decision should be easy to use for all users. Software that requires little training is the easiest to implement.
    • Consider the overall strength of a software solution. Just because one area is a strength and everyone prefers it does not mean it is the best choice.
    • Your organizational structure should be considered. Who can maintain the program? Who is responsible for what parts of the software?
    • Include all stakeholders in the selection process. An end-user may have a totally different opinion than the IT department
    • Questions To Consider When Evaluating Software:

    • What is the objective for this software? What problems do we need it to solve?
    • What critical processes do we need to address?
    • Is the program functional? Does it meet our needs?
    • Is this program affordable? Does it fit our budget? Are there extra fees associated such as licensing? Know exactly what you will be paying.
    • Will this vendor be around in ten years? If not, how will we support this new technology purchase?
    • What strains will this new software put on our IT department?
    • If this does not work out, do we have an exit strategy?


    • The worldwide IT budget in 2019 is estimated to be $3.85 billion, up 6% from 2017 and 2.8% from 2018.
    • In 2019, it is estimated that $424 billion will be spent on Enterprise software.
    • The biggest spend in IT budgets is communication services at $1.47 billion.
    • Shadow IT is set to overtake normal IT budgets in terms of spending in 2019. It is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% until 2021.
    • Medium-size businesses (100-499 employees) spent $229 billion on IT in 2018.
    • Small businesses (less than 100 employees) IT budgets are set to grow at 4.7% from 2017-2023.
    • Budgets vary by industry. For example, the financial industry has a budget that ranges from 4.4% at the 25th percentile and 11.4% of their revenue at the 75th percentile. The lowest IT budgets come from the discrete manufacturing industry at 1.4% at the 24th percentile to 3.2% at the 75th percentile.
    • Cloud computing is included in the budgets of 47.8% of businesses. Companies with revenue between $5 and $100 million include cloud computing 50% of the time, while only 33.4% of businesses with revenue under $5 million do.
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    Unused Software Pain Points

    The intranet is increasing in usage. Adoption of intranet, security issues, intranet shortcomings, the cost of not being able to find information, Office 365, SSO, and Shadow Internet are all timely topics when discussing intranet.


    • Workers who are considered highly skilled can raise productivity by 20-25% by implementing social technologies effectively.
    • Companies who have workers who are engaged, according to Gallup, outperform their peers by 147% "earnings per share".


    • Costs can range from $30,000-$250,000 depending on the company. It all depends on the size of the company and the services needed.
    • When considering the price of intranet one should consider infrastructure, deployment, adoption, support costs, and payment options.
    • Questions to ask when considering implementing an intranet: What do you need from the intranet? What should it accomplish? What problems could having an intranet solve? What tools would be useful for employees?
    • When considering infrastructure, take into account if your servers and network you currently have can handle the load of an intranet.
    • Will you host on a private or public cloud? A private cloud will be hosted on the premises, while a public cloud is hosted on an off-site server.
    • There will be considerable costs involved with the deployment of your intranet. It also must be supported by the company and adopted by the users. Both of these areas take time and effort.
    • Once you have your intranet up and running it will need ongoing support through your IT department or an outside specialist.
    • With payment options, a business must decide whether they want to own the software or use a SaaS that offers subscriptions.
    • Once your intranet is deployed there is ongoing maintenance and labor associated with it.
    • Some of the costs of intranet can be offset by the money saved with reduced email, easy access to information, and reduced paperwork. Company literature can also be stored, preventing the associated printing costs.


    • Poor user interfaces that are not intuitive: This is a key reason why employees do not want to use an intranet, and IT professionals struggle with. Making the interface easy to navigate and uncluttered is a good first step to overcoming this problem.
    • Poor search engines make jobs time-consuming and frustrating.
    • Intranets and their IT departments that are tasked with the success will fail if there is no executive support or the necessary funding needed. The lack of senior management support is cited by 40% of the respondents in the Global Intranet Trends Report.
    • Potential security risks: The intranet gives employees access to sensitive data, which in turn puts more responsibility on the IT department to protect the information.
    • Staff members who do not understand how to use the intranet and are untrained.
    • Staff refuse to get rid of older means of communication in favor of the intranet which in turn affects participation and ultimately the success of the project.
    • The intranet has a very low usage rate with employees. One solution for this problem is to make your intranet the homepage along with making the intranet the place to access work tools and documents.


    • Office 365 has multiple options depending upon need.
    • A business can pick and choose between different options and drop them if necessary.
    • It is also possible to mix and match plans.
    • Office 365 Business is $8.25 per month, per user. It requires an annual subscription. All Office apps are included along with OneDrive.
    • Office 365 Business Premium is $12.50 per month, per user and requires an annual subscription. All Office apps are included along with Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.
    • Office 365 Business Essentials is $5.00 per month, per user, and requires an annual subscription. The web and mobile version of Office is included along with Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.
    • Office 365 Enterprise 1 is $8.00 per user, per month and requires an annual subscription. It includes business services—email, file storage and sharing, Office Online, meetings and IM, and more. Office applications not included". Office applications are not included with this option.
    • Office 365 Enterprise 3 is $20.00 per user, per month, and requires an annual subscription. It offers "all the features of ProPlus and Office 365 E1 plus security and compliance tools, such as legal hold, data loss prevention, and more". All Office applications are included.
    • Office 365 Enterprise 5 is $35.00 per user, per month and requires an annual subscription. It offers "all the features of Office 365 E3 plus advanced security, analytics, and voice capabilities". All Office applications are included.


    • Searching and gathering information can take up to 19% of a work day according to McKinsey & Company. Knowing this, it makes sense that a business would want to make information gathering as simple and efficient as possible.
    • According to Nintex, 49% of employees say they have trouble locating information when they need it and 39% believe their "document management system is broken."
    • Workers can sometimes take up to eight searches to get the information they really need.
    • A McKinsey report found that employees can spend up to 1.8 hours everyday searching and gathering information. That is the equivalent of every employee using almost one whole day each week to just search for information.
    • To illustrate, let's imagine we have an employee that makes $25.00 per hour. If they are wasting 1.8 hours per day, they are wasting $45.00 per day or $225.00 weekly. If a company has 100 employees, they are losing $22,500 per week or $1,170,000 per year.


    • Shadow IT is the IT projects that are managed outside of the IT department and without their knowledge, even though they are still responsible for compliance and security.
    • It is estimated that 40% of all IT spending is now shadow IT spending.
    • Cisco states that 83% of support staff admit to using Shadow IT.
    • According to Cisco, when executives were asked how many cloud apps their used their answer was 50. In reality, that number was closer to 730.
    • Compliance and Security issues are considerable. Most people have some sort of personal cloud storage they will sometimes use at work. What are the implications when they leave work or quit?
    • Shadow IT can include hardware, software, servers, PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, cloud services, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. Cloud services are now the biggest segment of Shadow IT.
    • Shadow IT apps can ultimately be a gateway to information loss due to the security issues they pose.
    • Data loss and downtime related to Shadow IT can range from $1.5-$1.8 trillion every year.
    • Businesses lose money due to downtime and can even be forced to cease operations until they can remedy their issues.
    • The bottom line is not only is it costly, but it compromises security.

    COST BENEFIT OF SSO (Okta/ServiceNow Analysis)

    • SSO proclaims to have the following cost-effective benefits:
    • SSO streamlines security protocols and day to day operations.
    • SSO enables an employee to access their apps needed immediately with a 50% faster log in.
    • There are no more forgotten passwords, or password resets.
    • SSO gives IT departments the ability to be more secure with less work.
    • SSO lets IT give the right people the right access to the right applications, therefore assisting with compliance.
    • Password fatigue is reduced. As a result, users have better sign on practices and better security.
    • SSO can reduce login related help desk calls by up to 50%.


    When attempting to locate information regarding upgrading intranet, we were unable to locate usable information from reputable sources. After consulting Cisco, CMSwire, Technopedia, and Microsoft we could only locate the costs associated with employing an intranet. We have included that information in lieu.

    From Part 01
    • "Gartner's latest forecast, released in April, put worldwide IT spending for 2018 at $3.74 trillion, up 6.2 percent from 2017. Spending is projected to reach $3.85 trillion in 2019, up 2.8 percent from 2018."
    • "Communications Services remains the biggest IT spending category across 2017-2019, although the growth rate is predicted to be relatively flat for 2018/19 (1.1%). Enterprise Software has been the fastest-growing category in all three years, peaking at 11.1 percent in 2017/18. "
    • "Also noticeable in Gartner's figures is steadily declining growth in spending on Data Center Systems, from 6.3 percent in 2016/17 to 1.1 percent in 2018/19. Growth in Devices (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) also drops to just 1.3 percent in 2018/19:"
    • "One mega-trend that's gathering pace in business is technology spending controlled by lines of business (LOB) rather than the IT department. LOB spending -- often called 'shadow IT' -- is set to overtake IT department spending in 2019 worldwide, according to analyst firm IDC. The LOB/IT split is currently around 50:50, but LOB spending has been growing faster than IT spending for several years and is forecast to be 6.9 percent versus 3.3 percent (CAGR) between 2016 and 2021. By 2021, only two of the 16 industries profiled in IDC's spending guide -- construction and telecommunications -- will still see their technology spending led by the IT department."
    • "As business managers rely less on IT departments for technology purchases, CIOs will need to keeps tabs on what's being deployed, and why, and whether LOB-driven technology poses a security threat to the organisation."
    • "• Of the $602 billion in IT spending globally, $115 billion this year alone will be on devices (PCs, mobile phones and peripherals)"
    • "• More than two thirds of the $602 billion in IT spending globally, will be driven by firms with 100-999 employees through 2021."
    • "• Within the mid-market segment, medium-sized businesses (100-499 employees) will spend $229 billion in 2018."
    • "• Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will see IT spending growth of 4.7 percent over the five-year forecast period."
    • "• The United States is the largest market for SMB spending with this year hitting a record $186 billion on IT, according to the IDC repor"
    • "IT spending as a percentage of revenue in the financial services industry ranges between 4.4% at the 25th percentile to 11.4% at the 75th percentile. In contrast, discrete manufacturing companies spend 1.4% and 3.2% at the 25th and 75th percentiles, respectively. To put this in sharper relief, a financial services organization at the 25th percentile spends more than a discrete manufacturer at the 75th percentile."
    • "Our research shows that IT spending as a percentage of revenue does vary by organization size, with larger companies within an industry tending to spend more on IT as a percentage of revenue than smaller companies. However, the effect of organization size is far less than the effect of industry sector. For example, a small bank will spend much more on IT as a percentage of revenue than a large construction company. In fact, the small bank might easily spend over 10% of its revenue on IT, whereas a large construction firm would be unusual if it spent more than 2%."
    • "• If you plan on growing your small business, especially in the media and retail industries, you must budget for digital marketing spend to remain competitive."
    • "• If you are a smaller business in the media or retail industry, you should plan to spend between $10,000 and $25,000 on digital marketing over the next 12 to 24 months."
    • "• If you are a midsize business in the media or retail industry, you should plan to spend between $35,000 and $45,000 on digital marketing over the next 12 to 24 months."
    • "• If you are in another industry (especially insurance), you may gain competitive advantage with a digital marketing budget between $20,000 and $40,000."
    • "• This year, cloud software is the second most prevalent technology with 47.8% of businesses surveyed budgeting for it (see Figure 1)."
    • "• Nearly 50% of the businesses we surveyed that have $5 million to $100 million in revenue are budgeting for cloud computing. The rate for businesses under $5 million in revenue is much lower at 33.4% (see Figure 2)."
    • "• However, that number may be higher since our research indicates that many of the smallest businesses are buying software without knowing that it is cloud software. They are buying information technology without the heavy feel of IT. That is part of the appeal of cloud computi"
    • "But, there are numerous questions businesses should be asking their potential vendors, and, Mulligan says, executives interviewing an IT provider should leave no stone unturned. "There has to be comfort with the company you choose," he says. So, what should you ask? Here are some questions to start the conversation."
    • "How long have you been in the managed service business? This may seem like a simple question, but it's an important one, says Mulligan. Most people want experienced teams who have evolved with the industry. "You don't want someone who just popped up a week ago," he says. "Find out how they've changed with the market"
    • "Who have you worked with in the past? Get a sense of the potential vendor's experience and how they've dealt with challenges, says Dave Zimmel, a Calgary-based business consultant. Do they have experience working in your sector? Do they know the software you're running? "Ask for references so you can see the work they've done," he says."
    • "Who is on your team? You'll also want to get a sense of whom the vendor has on staff, says Zimmel. Are these people trained in the areas you need help with? What type of experience do they have? Will you be working with the same people next year as you are today? "It's back to basics," he says. "You have to have the right people.""
    • "How often are you going to communicate? A client once asked Mulligan if they would hear from him again once the contract was signed. It was a joke, but it speaks to a big issue: Vendors can disappear once the checks start coming in. Find out if potential vendors are available when needed, how often they typically talk to their clients, if there are any newsletters or educational materials they send out, and more, he says. "
    • "Do you take a proactive approach to IT? This is key, says Mulligan. Companies need to know if their vendor will make recommendations on how to fix things before they break down or if they wait until a problem occurs. The former is better, he says. Companies should be constantly reviewing their clients' IT needs and pointing out any gaps."
    • "What's your process? Find out what a vendor will do after you sign on the dotted line, says Zimmel. They may take six months to do an assessment or meet with different departments to evaluate their IT needs, but whatever they do, it's important to have a clear understanding of the process, so you know what you're paying for."
    • "What happens in an emergency? It's one thing for a vendor to show up to work to do their day-to-day tasks, but it's when things go awry that you're going to need them most, says Zimmel. Ask them how they deal with emergencies, who you should be calling, and how they charge for unexpected events. "If the system shuts down, you need to know how fast they can get in and solve the problem," he says."
    • "Can you help us plan for the future? The technology industry is always evolving, and companies need help keeping up. Find out if a vendor is aware of changing industry trends, if they're keeping their staff educated, and if they'll tell you when something needs to change. "What are they doing internally when it comes to dealing with tech changes and new cybersecurity threats?" says Mulligan."
    • "How do you charge? As helpful as a vendor might be, you're eventually going to receive an invoice. It's important to understand what they're billing you for--i.e., do they just charge an overall fee or can they break it down into specific services? Ask to see a sample invoice so you know what to expect. "You want to see that they're providing the services you contracted them for," says Mulligan."
    • "10. What if a problem arises? As great as your vendor may be, at some point a problem will arise, says Zimmel. Ask the vendor how issues get addressed. Who would you speak to if something came up? How would you handle that issue internally? How would you remedy a negative situation?"
    • "Any vendor with the potential to access or store advisor or client data must have an information security program in place. This program should outline technical, physical, and administrative safeguards specifically designed for protecting sensitive information. These safeguards may include: • Strong password requirements • Account lockouts • Idle browser session timeouts "
    • "Data Security Policies When it comes to a vendor’s data security policies, here’s the bottom line: sensitive information should be encrypted, and you should hold the encryption key. That way, if a privacy breach does occur on the vendor side, your data will be meaningless to anyone who gains unauthorized access. Also, role-based access is a necessity. That is, only authorized vendor employees should have access to sensitive information, and authorization should be based on a business need. "
    • "Systems Security Any vendor you partner with should use software that is set up to receive the most current security updates on a regular basis—so your sensitive data won’t be left vulnerable. Vulnerability assessments should be performed on a continual basis, and a change management procedure should be in place, as software changes could open security holes in the vendor’s system. Finally, antivirus programs are a requirement, and they should offer real-time scanning protection on all computer systems. "
    • "Industry Standards for Network Security By law, industry-standard firewalls are required. These firewalls should be deployed and kept current, and access to firewalls should be allowed only through Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS ensures that records and files containing sensitive information are encrypted when transmitted wirelessly (also a requirement by law). Intrusion detection systems are typically included in firewall hardware/software, as are intrusion prevention systems. "
    • "Privacy and Confidentiality Controls You want any third-party vendor to take the responsibility of securing your sensitive information as seriously as you do. Accredited audits, including SSAE 16 or SOC 1 and 2, are one way to test and validate your vendor’s controls and safeguards against known industry standards. Of course, successful completion of these certifications doesn’t guarantee security. But it does help establish that your vendor has effective controls in place. "
    • "Physical Security When evaluating a vendor’s physical security, take note of its location(s) and number of data centers. In the event of natural or environmental outages or disaster, storing data in multiple data centers provides better protection. It also helps improve the uptime of your data and the ability to recover from data loss. You might also ask for copies of the vendor’s physical security policy and verify that it covers building security, shredding and disposal procedures, and backup/redundancy. "
    • "Adopting an Information Security Mind-Set Vendor due diligence and oversight has risen to the top of FINRA’s and the SEC’s examination priorities list, and examiners are looking for evidence of a due diligence process from financial institutions, large and small. No matter what state your branch or clients are in, you must ensure that you are abiding by the federal information security laws, which require financial institutions to safeguard the security and confidentiality of customer information and protect that information against any threats or risks. "
    • "1.Trust But Verify For example: • What problems were you hired you to solve? • Tell me about your approach? • Who did you work with at the company? • Tell me about your results? • What was your budget? • What kind of ROI were you able to get? • Are you still working together (Have they hired you again?) • Who can I chat with about their experiences with you? "
    • "2. Read Reviews You can gain a wealth of knowledge by reading reviews, both good and bad, according to Fox. When vetting a vendor, keep in mind that some people are trolls and that no one is perfect (but legitimate bad reviews can be great for identifying potential issues and setting proper expectations"
    • "Check LinkedIn LinkedIn can be a great source of information on a vendor, and specifically on the CEO and owners of the company. While lying on LinkedIn is perhaps considered less egregious than lying on a resume, the results can be just as severe. "
    • "Ask For a Client List With fake testimonials and paid references being an increasingly common practice, Fox rarely ask a vendor for formal references. Instead, he asks for a client list including the names of people they work with. He asks casually, “So who do you do business with that I would know? And who do you work with who’s there?” "
    • "Treat the vendor selection process as seriously as you would when hiring an employee, executives said during a presentation at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago today."
    • "With technology expenses, it has never been more important for retailers to thoroughly evaluate the vendors they work with, said two veteran retail executives on Tuesday at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition."
    • "I recommend creating an "evaluation spreadsheet" to help make the decision. Open Excel and in the left-most column, write down criteria to evaluate potential vendors. If you have some vendors in mind already, do not tailor the list to them to stay objective. Some people prefer adding "weight" to the criteria (if one matters more to you than another). In my experience, that doesn't usually help with decision making and is only useful when you're formally required to have a "score" for each vendor."
    • " Ask your friends/coworkers/LinkedIn network for a recommendation. "
    • "Industry publications. For example, Forrester and Gartner offer research papers where they identify market leaders."
    • "Assessing the quality of software - either your own or someone else's - is a tricky balance between hard objectivity and the very subjective (but very valid) individual user experience. "
    • "The Software Sustainability Institute provide a software evaluation service based on two complementary approaches developed over many years in the research software arena. The service can help you to improve your software. It can assess the general usability, and can identify technical or development issues, as well as any barriers to sustainability"
    • "The two approaches we use are complementary; either can be used, and sometimes one approach makes more sense than the other."
    • "Our criteria-based approach is a quantitative assessment of the software in terms of sustainability, maintainability, and usability. This can inform high-level decisions on specific areas for software improvement. This approach forms the basis of our online sustainability evaluation, a web-based assessment you can use straight out of the box."
    • "Our tutorial-based approach provides a pragmatic evaluation of usability of the software in the form of a reproducible record of experiences. This gives a developer a practical insight into how the software is approached and any potential technical barriers that prevent adoption."
    • "A software evaluation is done for someone. Someone wants to know about the state of a particular package, and may even be paying you to look into it! So, at the outset, you should agree with this "someone" the scope of the evaluation"
    • "In terms of how much time to spend on an evaluation to get useful information, our rule of thumb is that an ideal period is 1-2 weeks in duration (or 3-5 days of effort) depending on the complexity of the software and the nature of the evaluation tasks."
    • "#1 - Define Evaluation Criteria Defining evaluation criteria starts with gathering requirements at the beginning of a project. Take your user requests and split them into clear categories, with a list of features within each one. These features should be easy to define and measure"
    • "There are five recommended areas of website platform criteria:"
    • "Cost: Established stack players such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have expensive platforms and complex maintenance and support pricing structures, but often compete with a wide network of partners. Open source platforms can offer more affordable options with a much wider network of specialists, thanks to the use of open standards and development methodologies."
    • "Risk: Determine the acceptable risk level for long-term costs, integration capabilities, product chaining risk and end user satisfaction."
    • "Control: Companies often need to strike a balance between centralized and distributed control to streamline decision making and maintain a level of team responsiveness."
    • "• End User Capabilities: No one likes a solution that’s difficult to use. Prioritizing solutions that are intuitive encourages user adoption. This is especially true for solutions reaching a diverse audience of users, such as portals or collaboration tools."
    • "• Heterogeneity: Companies can reduce maintenance and supports if they simplify the review and enforcement of organizational needs for product and content management at a high level, especially where central and departmental needs differ."
    • "#2 - Quantify It Quantifying the evaluation process makes the comparison easier and more accurate. Each vendor should be evaluated separately with the same table of criteria, then rated on a numerical scale. Often, stakeholders can become tied to a particular feature in one platform, and will argue for it without considering the overall strength of that solution. Quantifying your criteria ensures that you are giving weight to all criteria."
    • "#3 - Determine Use Cases During the initial research process, vendors’ sales and marketing teams will likely present you with every possible scenario of how their platforms can be used. There are two ways to filter out the noise and focus on what’s relevant to your evaluation:"
    • "• Choose one use case: By narrowing your scope to a single use case, you can limit the project requirements that you need to evaluate, and possibly eliminate some standard criteria altogether. This is especially useful if you’re choosing a platform for a standalone project that won’t need to integrate with other environments."
    • "#4 - Compare at Different Levels There are three different “levels” you can (and should) use during your evaluation "
    • "- Don’t Rule Out Qualitative Evaluation After your team has gone through the quantitative scores, you should counterbalance with a qualitative review. This should include review and discussion of the final scores, as well as a mix of the following: • Q&A demonstration • Proof of concept • Software trial • Reference customer outreach • Online evaluations"
    • "Set clear goals Really, this tip pretty much applies to every successful project that has ever happened in the history of mankind. But, for some reason, it often gets missed with software selection."
    • "• What is your Organizational Structure? • Do you plan to make changes to the organizational structure as part of the software implementation? • Who should be responsible for which aspects of the software?"
    • "How you communicate Does your software support positive and open communication across the team? Can the solution be used as a tool for supporting in-person dialog? Unless your primary goal is to change the way you communicate, you may be able to find a solution that complements the way you currently work, will make implementation much easier"
    • "Include stakeholders in the process When people feel like they have a say in a decision or a voice in the process, they're far more likely to feel positive about the outcome. We recommend that you identify a core team to find and implement the software. Ideally, this core team includes representatives from multiple departments and levels within the organization so once you select the software, there are champions throughout the team who can help support the decision and process. "
    • "Investment levels can vary from sector to sector within the same industry. For example, in financial services, many banking and securities CIOs are overseeing large digital transformation projects, and higher levels of IT spending (7.16 percent) are typically critical for maintaining competitive advantage. On the other hand, IT spending in the insurance industry (3.62 percent) is closer to the overall average."
    • "Overall, CIOs report the majority of their technology budgets are allocated to support business operations (57 percent), compared with only 26 percent to fund incremental business change and 16 percent to bolster innovation."
    • "The allocation of the IT budget among these three categories is influenced by market environment as well as business strategy and priorities in specific industries and sectors. For example, perhaps not surprisingly, technology and telecommunications companies commit far more of their IT budgets (22 percent) to innovation than construction organizations do (13 percent)."
    • "An analysis of data collected for Deloitte’s 2016–2017 Global CIO Survey shows that technology spending as a percentage of revenue ranges from more than 7 percent in banking and securities to less than 2 percent in construction and manufacturing. The overall average for all industries is 3.28 percent (figure 1)."
    • "The best way to start is to map out the communication structure of your organization and to interview key members of your team. "
    • "Start with an open mind By beginning an evaluation with a biased assumption of where you think the problems, you are setting yourself to perceive items as issues that are not issues. Keep an open mind, listen to employees and listen to yourself. Sometimes the problem is something you never even imagined."
    • "Begin with interviewing your team (or yourself if you are solo) Use employee interviews to determine how well individuals are trained for their jobs. This is key in discovering that maybe the inefficiencies aren't in your tools, maybe it is the people. Maybe it is both. Both need solving. The interviews can also shed more light on how well you are educating your employees. As an employer, employee capabilities is always a two-way street."
    • "Questions to ask your employees (or yourself) What do you think the number one objective for our business is? What role do you play in achieving that? How well prepared do you think you are for this? What resources do you need more of? What stops you from doing your job? How do you know when your job is done? Can you describe the latest analysis of your core business process?"
    • "Study Critical Processes Based on these questions, you will likely find a few items that will stick out. This will give you something narrow in on. Next, we recommend watching from afar and trying to confirm any issues you have may have spotted. To do this, start by determining a study. Identify the critical business processes that need to be reviewed by breaking down and rating the perceived risk in each problem. Rate these 1 - 5. Watch those with the greatest risk."
    • "What to consider: Functionality: Do the features match up with your greatest needs? Consistency & integration: Automation of business processes is not enough; all modules within a new solution must be tuned and integrated to meet the needs of the organization using the application. Be wary of tools grown via acquisition as their solution may be modularized and integrate poorly. "
    • "Affordability: Cost is always a consideration. Proper industry research will uncover cost considerations, including license fees, support, hardware, consulting and customization costs."
    • "Usability: A system is only as good as it’s usability. Users, managers, and executives will adopt applications that are straightforward and intuitive to use. Tools that require little to no training for the average user have an advantage. The quickest most powerful solutions will not be effective if they are too cumbersome to use."
    • "Vendor viability: evaluate whether the vendors will be around in years to come to ensure they are always supporting and developing their solution. "
    • "Other important things to look out for: Consider IT support requirements Make sure that agreement clauses meet your needs and not just the software vendor's needs Consider what exit strategies you have Know exactly what you will be paying"
    From Part 02
    • ""The costs for intranets we’ve deployed have ranged from $30,000 for smaller companies to $250,000 or more for larger ones. That’s a wide spectrum for sure, but you can come up with a ballpark estimate for your company by examining three factors: infrastructure costs, deployment/adoption/support costs, and payment options.""
    • ""You can’t have an intranet without infrastructure. It takes servers and network connections to run an enterprise portal, and the investment you make will depend on how the system is set up and maintained.""
    • ""Private Clouds – An intranet hosted on premise costs more than a public cloud solution using Office 365 and SharePoint. Some companies prefer on premise servers, or private clouds, because they believe it will give them better data security. This assumption is wrong, and they may spend a lot more because of it. Setting up and maintaining an intranet on premise requires skilled IT technicians that have the time to deal with the upkeep, and most organizations lack the resources for this. A public cloud solution using Office 365 is usually a better option. ""
    • ""Public Cloud – A public cloud is an off-site server your organization connects to via the Internet, and the advantages it offers are significant. Deploying a SharePoint intranet on Office 365 is the fastest, most cost effective solution available today. As an Office 365 subscriber, your company will enjoy the full benefits of Microsoft hosted support, including plenty of storage, speed and data backups. It also offers better data security than most local intranet installations and requires no support from your IT department.""
    • ""Deployment, Adoption, and Support Costs The cost of deploying, adopting, and supporting an intranet depends on multiple factors."
    • ""• Deployment Options – There are several out-of-the-box SharePoint intranets that offer low deployment costs. In addition, SharePoint is a platform that can be used to develop solutions for specific business challenges. Examples include developing a social network for employee communication, or an app that pushes documents through a specific chain of approval. These features can be developed using SharePoint, but each will impact the cost.""
    • ""• Intranet Adoption - Don’t overlook the importance of employee adoption of your intranet. At a minimum, employees should be properly trained on how to use the available tools that come with your new intranet. ""
    • ""• Support – Once your platform is launched it will need support either in-house or through a specialist outside your organization. If your intranet is successful, your employees will want to add new features and customizations to it, so you should plan on budgeting for improvements and enhancements later on.""
    • "Payment Options - Subscription Fees, or No? Many companies offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), giving your organization an intranet subscription, costing between $5-$35 per user per month. The fees depend on the features included in the software as well as the size and needs of the organization. The subscription “pay-as-you-go-per-employee” model may work well for your business -- it allows you to sign up, flip a switch and connect to an “instant-intranet" -- but you will not own the software and may not be able to customize the platform to your own business processes."
    • ""MGI’s estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers—high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals—by 20 to 25 percent.""
    • "Outside of job specific tasks, the biggest factors negatively impacting productivity are: • Reading and answering emails (estimated to consume 28% of the average work week!) • Searching and gathering information"
    • "According to the IntraTeam’s intranet survey, most organizations (about 40 percent) say they’re satisfied only to “some degree” with their system for the intranet/digital workplace. "
    • "Fewer than 5 percent say they are "to a very large degree" satisfied. That is pretty sad but there is more we can do to spur adoption of the corporate intranet. "
    • "However, she added, “cumbersome, lackluster intranets or intranets with poor search tools are unfortunately still commonplace, pushing companies to undertake redesigns in an attempt to improve them. In some cases, users don't trust documents they find on their companies’ intranets.”"
    • "Poor UI That Isn't Intuitive One of the key reasons why employees do not want to use a company intranet is improper tool design, according to Maja Biernacka, internal communication consultant, blogger and founder of bee DIFFERENT agency. “It is user-unfriendly, unintuitive or poorly organized,” she said. “A search engine does not work properly, the navigation is complicated, finding some useful information is difficult and time-consuming. All these elements do not encourage the use of this tool.”"
    • "Failure to Get Employee Input and Feedback The best internal communication solution is one that meets the expectations of the employees. Too often, organizations leave the employees out of the selection process and fail to consider their expectations. Soliciting that information would help create a list of functionalities the intranet should have. "
    • "Lack of Executive Support, Governance The two biggest reasons why most intranets fail is a lack of executive support — and the funding that comes with it — and governance, according to Toby Ward, chair of the Digital Workplace & Intranet Global Forum. “If you have true executive support, executives not only use it, but they fund it accordingly,” Ward said. “Governance is an extension of executive support, and represents the ownership and management model and structure, including policies. "
    • "Lack of Budget Without budgets it is hard to do a lot right, said Kurt Kragh Sørensen, digital workplace consultant and organizer of IntraTeam Event Copenhagen. Information management is left behind and then you do not have resources to police your retention policy. “Then you end up with a lot of garbage on your intranet and nobody can find anything,” Sørensen said."
    • "Content Overload You can have the best user interface and UX design in the world, but you need intranet content with substance. Content must resonate with your employees. Your employees can get discouraged from using an intranet that has inappropriate content. “If employees do not find the information that helps them solve their tasks and accomplish goals set by supervisors, we should not be surprised they do not want to get on the intranet,” Biernacka said. “If it is faster and easier for them to call another employee in another department and get the information they look for instead of searching for it on the intranet, this tool will be unused.”"
    • "Lack of Education and Promotion The intranet can’t just be a set-it-and-forget-it process. Education about the possibilities of the tool, its content and functionalities is essential, according to Biernacka. The promotion of this solution is of great importance as well. "Internal communication tools are like products that require advertising and encouragement to use them,” she said. “If employees do not know what the solution is for, what is inside and how it may support their work, they will avoid this tool and look for help elsewhere.” "
    • "Initially, a business that wishes to set up an intranet has to consider the following costs: 1) hardware (including the server and network adapter); 2) software and utilities, and 3) installation and maintenance. A simple intranet may be set-up rather quickly if the company involved already has computers that are networked using the common TCP/IP communications protocol. "
    • "The labor of employees who maintain the intranet is an ongoing cost, as are the costs to publish and archive data."
    • "On the other hand, since intranets were designed to save time, they can usually be counted on to save money over time. By cutting down on routine communication, employees can refocus their efforts to better performing their duties. "
    • "Employees who use the intranet to its fullest potential will discover that the benefits of e-mail, reduced paperwork, and easy access to information will increase their productivity. "
    • "As mentioned previously, company literature that is stored and distributed online rather than through traditional hard paper copies also cuts down printing and distribution costs. Large companies sometimes notice a savings of tens of thousands of dollars when they post their documents online."
    • "According to the Global Intranet Trends Report, 44% of respondents say the intranet is not seen as a priority and is a “serious obstacle”. Supporting the conclusion, 40% of respondents say the lack of senior management ownership (stewardship or championing) of the intranet is a serious obstacle."
    • "If you have to constantly take time out to find required information or are unclear of recent changes to your responsibilities, then that will have a negative impact on your productivity. "
    • "An intranet acts as a one-stop shop for all workers. It provides them with all the relevant announcements, tools and information to perform their jobs. Easy access is provided to workers by placing all the important information and tools on their individual desktops, which allows them to work smarter and faster."
    • "Potential for Security Risks Because you are providing open access to sensitive data, it is important to establish an effective security system via a gateway or firewall. Without appropriate security measures, your private data may be accessed by an unauthorized party – putting your company at risk"
    • "Additionally, an intranet is only effective when staff members fully understand how it should be used. It is equally important to ensure that staff know all the available intranet functionalities. This means resources must be used to train staff so they can adapt and continue performing their job duties. Without effective training, an intranet implementation can turn into a nightmare because it can impede staff's ability to perform their jobs – ultimately causing losses to the company."
    • "Once your intranet is up and running, it’s time to embrace it, and that often means saying goodbye to old tools and old communication habits. But that’s where a lot of companies struggle. Humans are creatures of habit."
    • "Although you have deployed a fancy new tool designed to make life easier, people revert back to old communication habits (like using messaging apps or reply-all emails)."
    • "The second challenge you may face is maintaining a high level of participation. Once more people start using your intranet, you need to keep them coming back. People aren’t going to become regular users if, for example, your intranet is rarely updated."
    • "What do you want from your intranet? How could having an intranet make a positive difference to your organisation? What problems could having an intranet solve? These are all questions to ask when deciding what you want your intranet to do and how you want it to serve you."
    • "Large organisations with a high volume of users, and other companies who want a comprehensive, full-featured intranet will inevitably pay more than those who want a simple platform for internal communication."
    • "Start by asking stakeholders their priorities for the intranet; what tools would be most useful to them? You can refine this list even further by dividing into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’"
    • "As well as consulting key stakeholders, you should also ask other teams who will use the intranet what features they would like to see. This will give you a more complete picture of how your intranet could be used, and make sure the intranet solution you choose is useful to everyone in your organisation."
    • "To get the most out of your intranet and the best return on your investment, you need to create a strategy outlining each step of your project, from planning to installation and then beyond, to post-implementation support and how you will keep your intranet moving forward. Having a plan in place will make the process more efficient and help you stick to budget."
    • "Your intranet can be on-premise or hosted in the cloud. Traditionally, many company intranets were deployed in-house due to privacy and security concerns, but this has changed."
    • "This depends largely on your budget, the scale of your organisation and whether you have to decided to outsource your intranet or build it yourself. If you only need a simple intranet, most out of the box solutions feature a staff directory and collaboration tools, so this might be enough. If "
    • "If you require a little more customisation but don’t need a truly bespoke intranet with lots of additional features, some third-parties offer intranet packages with different levels of functionality at a different price. This lets organisations benefit from the lower cost of an out of the box solution, while still enjoying an element of customisation. "
    • "Large-scale organisations with complex intranet requirements may be better off having a bespoke intranet made for them. "
    • "To make sure your intranet is kept as current as possible, you will need to perform regular updated and upgrades. You may also have to renew licences depending on software. Updates are especially important if the intranet integrates with other platforms, so that all of them run as efficiently as possible"
    • "Your intranet is going to need constant and ongoing support and maintenance to keep it functioning properly. Whether you choose to perform this yourself or outsource, is up to you. As with upgrades, your support and maintenance may be included in your package if you have outsourced your intranet. In general, it’s usually more cost-effective to outsource IT support than use in-house resource."
    • "To get a return on your investment, you need people to engage with and enjoy using your new intranet, and you need your intranet to stay current. Depending on how big your organisation is, this might need a project manager."
    • "Of course, it all very much depends on your internal situation and needs. In my steps below, I will try to cover some common situations for a medium-size company (500 to 3,000 people). If your company is smaller, you can stick to part one. If your company is bigger, the principles covered here can be used at your subsite or business unit scale."
    • "Your team will start by expressing the needs of your business users on the one hand, and the technical requirementsand constraints of your IT set-up, on the other hand. "
    • "Assuming that a consultant works at an average annual cost of 60k, this part of the project adds up to a total cost of 15k."
    • "During this phase, the team sizes up the project budget based on an RFI or its market knowledge and puts together an RFP based on the findings from step 2. The usual selection process takes place—treatment of proposals, shortlist of vendors, presentations, demonstrations, user testings, etc."
    • "Typically, this step lasts from four to six months and also requires a commitment of 50 percent of their time from your two project managers, at a total cost of 20–30k. Other people’s input may be required during this evaluation process, but we will set the cost of their time aside for the moment."
    • "Once your intranet project is drafted on paper, the vendor provides resources that have been agreed upon: typically an architect to ensure integration to your company IT infrastructure (enterprise directory, etc.), and some developers to customize the home page and add features or functionalities if required. "
    • "Typically, a simple deployment for our original target company size without deep integration would cost around 50k. Annual subscriptions would cost around 30k."
    • "Internally, your team will again work half time, at least on this project, for its duration, for a minimum of four to six months. That will cost another 20–30k."
    • "Now that your intranet is up and running, you need to ensure adoption. An intranet that nobody uses brings no benefits, so it is critical to plan for your change management and onboarding ahead of time. "
    • "Let us say 50k plus a half-time project manager (30k)."
    • "Once your intranet is in production, it will cost you something to maintain it technically, provide support, and animate it. Even though these costs are outside the scope of investment and ROI calculation, you should still estimate them, especially if additional investments are needed."
    • "To sum up, in the three years starting from the moment when you first thought of setting up an intranet, your investment sums up to a total of: 40k in internal or external costs to capture requirements and choose a solution (seven to nine months) 50k in technical services for the project implementation and 15k in internal costs (three to six months) 60k in subscriptions (two years) 50k in change management services and 60k in internal costs (two years) In all, your estimated total investment adds up to 275k for three years."
    • "• Employees find it time-consuming or even impossible to navigate to the information on the intranet they need to do their jobs effectively. Search engines many be poor and limited in scope, the intranet navigation not intuitive and content not optimally configured for search."
    • "• The intranet’s design offers a poor user experience. Often, it is inconsistent in terms of branding and interfaces. The complexity of the digital ecosystem of different applications means the experience is anything but seamless."
    • "Low user adoption and satisfaction • Because it provides little value, users don’t visit the intranet and it has few advocates. "
    • "Perceived lack of value by senior management • The intranet’s problems mean senior management can’t see its value, particularly if they hear complaints about it from users. "
    • "Improvements are difficult to make • The intranet is stuck in a rut with too many roadblocks and barriers to drive through improvements "
    • "No One Uses The Intranet Make Your Intranet the Default Homepage This is an easy fix. By making the intranet the default homepage, you’re ensuring that employees will see the page every time they open their web browser. "
    • "Make Your Intranet the Portal for Accessing Work Tools and Documents One way to ensure employees use the intranet is to make it a portal for accessing important work tools and documents"
    • "Make it Easier to Navigate and Use If the page is cluttered with boxes and menus that don’t make any sense, then people aren’t able to use it effectively. A clear menu with nestled options can make navigating the site easier. Using graphics to draw attention to important information is another way to capture the users’ attention. It should be quick and simple to use or else your survey results will continue to be dismal."
    • "One strategy for engaging users is to post regularly. Welcome to Content Management 101. Post on a schedule or risk losing your audience. The posts can cover a variety of topics but should always be relevant to your company and industry. "
    • "But making the decision to switch is just the first step. Much more important is choosing the right Office 365 edition. And with more than a dozen editions to choose from, at prices ranging from $4 to $35 per user per month, it's easy to make the wrong decision."
    • "Office 365 allows you to pick and choose between licenses on a per user bases and also drop them at any time if needed. You are free to mix and match multiple Information Worker Plans (Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium, ProPlus, E1, E3) as is needed by your business model."
    • "Office 365 Business: $8.25/month per user with an annual commitment. All office apps are included along with One Drive. "
    • "Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50/month/user with an annual commitment. All Office apps are included along with Exchange, One Drive, Share Point, and Teams. "
    • "Office 365 Business Essentials $5.00 per user/month with an annual commitment. Web and mobile versions of Office along with Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, and Teams"
    • "Having access to all the resources you need to perform your job tasks is an essential aspect of productivity. If you have to constantly take time out to find required information or are unclear of recent changes to your responsibilities, then that will have a negative impact on your productivity"
    • "An intranet acts as a one-stop shop for all workers. It provides them with all the relevant announcements, tools and information to perform their jobs. Easy access is provided to workers by placing all the important information and tools on their individual desktops, which allows them to work smarter and faster."
    • "Potential for Security Risks Because you are providing open access to sensitive data, it is important to establish an effective security system via a gateway or firewall. Without appropriate security measures, your private data may be accessed by an unauthorized party – putting your company at risk. "
    • "Can Be Time Consuming and Costly Despite the advantages of setting up an intranet, it can be a costly procedure, as dedicated teams must be assigned tasks to set up and configure the intranet for an organization. "
    • "Routine maintenance is a must to keep an intranet organized and functional. Posting regular content also is an important aspect of maintaining an intranet, as it ensures employees check their intranet regularly for new information. This can be a time-consuming process and requires dedication from the management team."
    • "Can Be Counterproductive An intranet can be an abundant and easily accessible resource for information. However, uploading excessive information in an unorganized manner can be counterproductive and create confusion between employees. Additionally, if information is not organized and cannot be easily navigated, productivity will be negatively impacted."
    • "Difficulty with intranet search is a common pain point within companies – resulting in loss of productivity and employee frustrations. "
    • "• 49% said they have trouble locating documents"
    • "• 39% believe their document management system is broken"
    • "Research Shows that Searching for Information at Work Wastes Time and Money"
    • "Numerous studies in the U.S. have found results that indicate that information searches during the work day practically kill the hope of any productivity"
    • "• A recent IHS Knowledge Collections Webinar provided an interesting statistic that concluded that an engineer’s time spent searching for information has increased 13% since 2002."
    • "• SearchYourCloud revealed that “workers took up to 8 searches to find the right document and information.”"
    • "• A McKinsey report found that “employees spend 1.8 hours every day—9.3 hours per week, on average—searching and gathering information. Put another way, businesses hire 5 employees but only 4 show up to work; the fifth is off searching for answers, but not contributing any value.”Source: Time Searching for Information."
    • "• Interact reported that “19.8 per cent of business time – the equivalent of one day per working week – is wasted by employees searching for information to do their job effectively. Source:A Fifth of Business Time is Wasted Searching for Information, says Interact"
    • "• IDC data shows that “the knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information….60% [of company executives] felt that time constraints and lack of understanding of how to find information were preventing their employees from finding the information they needed.” Source:Information: The Lifeblood of the Enterprise."
    • "“If all employees are working a regular eight hour workday and spend 25% (2 hours) of their time (often wasted) in the search for relevant information, then you have invested 60 Euros per employee – every day. So all total, over 13,000 Euros per employee per year has been spent, purely on a general search for relevant information. "
    • "Companies have known the importance of employee engagement to the bottom line for decades: engaged employees are more productive, cost-effective, innovative, and of course loyal. Retention alone can save up to twice annual salary."
    • "Gallup reports only 13% of employees worldwide and approximately 30% in the US are engaged. It’s rare but it’s worth pursuing. Those companies with engaged workforces outperformed their peers by 147% in earnings per share."
    • "They want an intranet that feels relevant and helps to prioritize information. The common sentiment can be summed up by this quote: “I should be able to access the most important information for me directly on one page.”"
    • "As you might expect, there is frustration with mass emails as a communication channel: “I get a lot of emails telling me how wonderful everything is and I delete them. I haven't got time to read it.”"
    • "I Can’t Find the Information I Need When employees can’t find things, the initial response is usually to blame the search engine. But dig deeper and you'll find a number of related issues: • Poor search. • Don't know where to look for information. • Not even sure if the information exists. • Don't know if information is trustworthy."
    • "“If you search for documents you'll get everything that's ever been written — finding a recent one is really difficult,” said one person."
    • "“There are too many results. There should be more filter options and more information should be visible on the results,” said another."
    • "I’m More Interested in What’s Happening Locally Striking a balance in news delivery is hard in any medium-to-large organization. Employees are usually most interested in news that is relevant to the location or department they work in, but organizations often want to promote what's happening at a corporate level, creating a tension."
    • "What Am I Supposed to Use When? People often receive very little training and support for intranet tools, including cultural aspects such as it being 'OK' to contribute to discussion forums, etc. Where there are a range of tools with overlapping functions exist, employees need guidance on what tool is right for the job."
    • "Who Knows What We Know? The people finder has been a killer app on intranets for as long as I can remember. But the focus has shifted from finding contact details to finding people when you don’t know a name. "
    • "Using the Company’s Intranet does not Speed things up If employees can’t quickly and easily access the information they’re looking for, it’s unlikely they will use the tool."
    • "The Company Intranet is not Employee-focused If you want employees to use your company’s intranet solution, you must be providing content that they perceive as relevant, useful and related to their roles."
    • "Most Staff, Including Management, isn’t really Sure how to Use it Whether your company’s intranet solution is new or established, if people don’t know how to use it effectively and efficiently, they won’t even bother."
    • "You don’t Have a Content Management System in Effect Similar to a blog or newsletter, it is essential to have a content management system in place if you want your employee intranet to be effective, useful, and utilized by the entire company. On top of the need for regularly updated content, you want to ensure that your staff is actively participating in the creation and distribution of the content."
    • "In today’s identity management climate, single sign-on (SSO) capability is critical to the success of enterprise identity and access management (IAM). IT departments face growing demands: managing thousands of users, both internal and external, who each need access to an increasing number of cloud-based applications. Adding to this complexity is the fact that these users need this access at any time, wherever they may be, and on whichever device they choose."
    • "Innovation is constant, but teams can be limited to a select number of tools based on the overhead time it takes to set them up, ensure proper security protocols, and get users onboarded. SSO helps streamline this. Whether it’s provisioning, meeting compliance requirements, or simply reducing the number of help desk calls, SSO plays an integral role in efficient enterprise IAM. "
    • "If there is no centralized IAM, accessing the software becomes a time-consuming process, with employees having to manually log into each app or service they require. Imagine the alternative: anyone who logs in to their Okta dashboard—whether on-prem, remotely on a laptop, or on mobile—immediately has access to all their applications. This could be Salesforce, Dropbox or any of over 5,000 other apps currently in the Okta Application Network. No more manual log-ins. "
    • "This could be Salesforce, Dropbox or any of over 5,000 other apps currently in the Okta Application Network. No more manual log-ins. No more forgotten passwords. No more password resets on an ever-increasing scale."
    • "Peace of mind that your network is secure An SSO solution also gives IT teams a real-time overview of the users that accessed certain applications, when that access occured, and other important information about their activity. "
    • "This information helps ensure the integrity of enterprise IAM security. This is done through a real-time system log that includes geolocation tracking, access reports and integration with SIEMs. Other common security risks can be addressed through SSO. "
    • ". Other common security risks can be addressed through SSO. For example, if an employee loses a laptop or cell phone with a password automatically stored in the devices, an IT team can efficiently disable access to the user’s account."
    • "The right access for the right users How do you ensure that the right people have access to the right things? This can be a big challenge for financial companies that must limit certain documents or applications to more senior employees, while still giving junior employees the tools and information they need to perform their tasks. Many enterprise IAM solutions—including Okta’s—come with built-in auditing for compliance reporting, including for SOX, HITECH and PCI. SSO allows you to configure this access based on someone’s role, department or seniority, providing visibility and transparency for your team into which resources certain users can and cannot access."
    • "A team that’s always on track With so many moving parts, having a single point of authentication simplifies what could be overwhelmingly complex. It comes down to streamlining the day-to-day operations of your team so they can focus on what they do best—while only ever having to sign in once. And instead of having an IT team that’s tied up with low-level administrative issues, such as addressing help tickets or deploying tools for disparate users and teams, these processes are automated and the team is empowered to focus on the bigger picture—efficiency, security and scale."
    • "Ask any IT department or helpdesk, and they’ll tell you the same thing: password resets are a pain; tedious and time-consuming, they result in huge losses of productivity. Even worse, the theft of credentials is increasingly common, and takes place when passwords aren’t strong or varied enough. Thankfully, having to memorize multiple passwords is becoming a thing of the past as more businesses use a single sign-on solution. "
    • "Firms that implement SSO gain plenty of advantages. For starters, SSO eliminates the problem of password fatigue. That's the phenomenon where adhering to the usual recommendation of a unique, complex password for every site or system actually reduces security. Faced with overwhelming password requirements, users often simply give up and adopt poor practices like using the same password across multiple services or choosing memorable passwords that are easy to crack."
    • "With single sign-on, users can focus on memorizing one strong, high-quality password. Having just one password also reduces time-consuming calls to IT help desks asking for password resets."
    • "Another bonus is that single sign-on can help with compliance. Because IT gains the ability to set user credentials, the user's access can be strictly controlled. For example in a company that must be mindful of financial regulations, a particular user could be allowed to see financial statements but not edit them, making Sarbanes-Oxley requirements easy to adhere to."
    • "50% reduction in login related helpdesk calls"
    • "50% faster for users to log in and use new apps. "
    • "Up to 5x faster integration of IT acquired businesses. "
    • "SSO provides numerous advantages to enterprise technology environments. By enforcing user name and password sets, end users are encouraged – and sometimes even required – to use more robust combinations that improve enterprise security while easing password retention. "
    • "By limiting their numbers, SSO reduces the likelihood of employees using simpler, easy-to-crack passwords. By utilizing a single password for all applications, employees are more likely to remember it, even if it has unusual complexity requirements."
    • "Most SSO systems today not only focus on simplifying password management, but also integrate with identity access management systems. The SSO / IDM connection not only allows streamlined provisioning and termination of access rights., but also simplifies audit protocols by standardizing user identities across networks and applications. By combining SSO and IDM, compliance departments are better able to determine which and when enterprise users have accessed specific systems."
    • ". External SSO allows organizations to use several SSO identity providers (IdPs) to manage authentication as well as retain local database (basic) authentication."
    • "For example, a globally dispersed corporation might require one SSO provider for their employees, a different one for their vendors, and local database authentication for their administrators. Alternatively, a company might implement SAML 2.0 and a digest token authentication solutions on the same instance."
    • "Shadow IT refers to information technology projects that are managed outside of, and without the knowledge of, the IT department. At one time Shadow IT was limited to unapproved Excel macros and boxes of software employees purchased at office supply stores."
    • "It has grown exponentially in recent years, with advisory firm CEB estimating that 40% of all IT spending at a company occurs outside the IT department. This rapid growth is partly driven by the quality of consumer applications in the cloud such as file sharing apps, social media, and collaboration tools, but it’s also increasingly driven by lines of business deploying enterprise-class SaaS applications. In many ways Shadow IT is helping to make businesses more competitive and employees more productive."
    • "However, while IT is no longer responsible for the physical infrastructure or even managing the application, it’s still responsible for ensuring security and compliance for the corporate data employees upload to cloud services. This puts IT in the uncomfortable position of saying no to employees using cloud apps they use to do their jobs, going as far as to block access to a cloud app using the company’s firewall or web proxy. "
    • "When IT examines the use of cloud services across the organization, they generally find Shadow IT is 10 times more prevalent than they initially assumed. The average organization today uses over 1,427 different cloud services, derived from anonymized usage from over 30 million users across over 600 enterprises using McAfee CASB"
    • "Often IT departments discover many services in use that they have never heard of before. After auditing the risk of each service and its security controls, IT teams can make informed choices about what services to promote or enable. "
    • "The adoption of Cloud computing is skyrocketing. According to a Gartner press release, by 2020 a `no-cloud` policy will be as rare as a 'no internet' policy in companies. The reasons why so many organizations choose to migrate on-premise systems to the cloud can vary, but typical use cases include companies migrating from cloud to cloud or between regions within a cloud."
    • "Those examples don’t seem like a big deal, right? Only they’re bigger than you think. In a Cisco study last year, CIOs were asked how many cloud apps their business users were running in the shadows. Their answer: fifty. The real answer? Seven hundred and thirty. "
    • "For example, what happens to corporate data stored in a personal Dropbox account when an employee leaves? In the case where regulatory compliance is a requirement (e.g., healthcare, legal and financial services companies), shadow IT can even put enterprises at risk of non-compliance, which can end up costing a lot of money."
    • " And then there’s the cost of providing access to all these shadow apps and services, which can result in network congestion, excessive mobile data charges and lost productivity as business users are forced to provide their own technical support."
    • "Shadow IT is the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of the IT or security group within the organization. It can encompass cloud services, software, and hardware."
    • "Shadow IT includes all forms of IT-related activities and purchases that the IT department isn’t involved in. These purchases can consist of: • Hardware: servers, PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones • Off-the-shelf packaged software • Cloud services: including software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS) "
    • "Cloud services, especially SaaS, have become the biggest category of shadow IT. The number of services and apps has increased, and staff members routinely install and use them without involving the IT group."
    • "Serious security gaps may result when an IT department doesn’t know what services and applications are being adopted. “App sprawl,” wasted time and money, and collaboration inefficiencies are other common problems."
    • "Any application that a department or end user adopts for business purposes without involving the IT group is considered a shadow IT application. These applications fall into three major categories:"
    • "The lack of visibility into them represents a security gap. Although some applications are harmless, others include functionality such as file sharing and storage, or collaboration, which can present big risks to an organization and its sensitive data. IT and security departments need to see what applications are being used and what risks they pose."
    • "Use of applications without the approval of the IT team creates room for serious security risks as the organizations lose control over their enterprise data which is residing in the cloud. There is no control on the following: A. Applications used by users within the organization B. Enterprise data being uploaded to unauthorized or un-secure portals C. Installation of unauthorized apps D. Access to un-secure apps E. Programs downloaded from unauthorized or un-secure portals"
    • "These can become gateways for data loss for the enterprises giving unauthorized access to third parties to their enterprise data. For e.g, data loss and downtime can occur if a software is downloaded or a tool is run, which might have a cryptolocker and starts to encrypt files across the file server."
    • "Shadow IT has a profound impact on organizations, big or small. A recent study from a leading storage vendor suggests that data loss and downtime cost estimates fall between $1.5 – $1.8 trillion every year. "
    • ". Businesses can even be forced to shut down or reduce their operations in case their sensitive data is leaked. With strict compliance in place, such data leaks can prove to be a disaster for organizations. Shadow IT costs, thus, does not just result in monetary losses but also affects the reputation/goodwill of an organization."
    • "In August 2017, due to Wannacry ransomware attack, a manufacturing firm in Asia had to send out notifications to their users through SMS asking them not to switch on their laptops or desktops till notifications are dropped. The firm then got all its users to submit their laptops and desktops for verification. This resulted in zero productivity for multiple days, resulting in a grave loss for this manufacturing firm."
    • "• As per Gartner studies, shadow IT accounts for 30-40% of IT spending in large enterprises."
    • "• As per Cisco findings, around 83% of the support staff admits of using unsanctioned apps in the enterprise cloud environment."
    • "These alarming statistics surely indicate that there is a massive impact of Shadow IT. Still even this is an understatement in terms of the entire shadow IT ecosystem. Many businesses even cripple when sensitive information gets leaked. It is a real big problem, and highly complicated."
    • "3 Major Negatives of Shadow IT • It is very costly • It can compromise cloud security • It usually goes against the processes "
    • "From data breaches, to unplanned resources, to accidental shutdowns of the network because IT team was not ready for this information surge, Shadow IT has many devastating effects."