Technology can have a profound impact on your company’s return on investment (ROI). From streamlining the operations and improving the comfort of a business environment, to enhancing the safety and peace of mind of employees, there’s no doubt that technology is a solid investment for any business. The monetary value of integrating technology into an environment may not be immediately evident, but it definitely exists. Here is a breakdown of several technology categories and how you can attain a solid ROI for each:
By now, it’s common knowledge that LED lights are the most energy-efficient illumination option available. But exactly how will trading your company’s current light sources for LEDs affect its bottom line? Yes, LEDs are more expensive than halogen or incandescent lights, and they can be more expensive to install and automate. However, according to the Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents. To find the payback period, calculate the cumulative LED wattage, multiply this by the hours of use and the current electricity rate. For example, if the LED lights together use 1,400 watts, 1.4 kilowatts, and you use them 2,080 hours over the course of a year, and the average utility rate is 12kWh, you’ll spend around $350 for electricity for the lights per year.
Compare this to what you’ve been spending on electricity for other types of lights, and you can quickly determine your payback period in term of energy use.
In addition to a reduction in electric bills, the significantly longer life expectancy of LED bulbs means you’ll spend less on maintenance and replacement bulbs.
According to the EPA, the average commercial property wastes up to one-third of the energy it uses. Progammable thermostats are a great way to heat and cool a space more efficiently, but for even greater ROI, integrate sensors. This will enable the HVAC system to adjust automatically not just based on the settings of the thermostats, but also according to the number of people present, time of day, and the current outside temperature. The same sensors can also turn off lights when people exit a room, adding to the energy efficiency and ROI. With some technologies, ROI can be difficult to calculate and validate, but smart HVAC products are able to actively monitor energy usage by the hour, day, week, or month and provide a report to a central dashboard.
When the company network is down, business comes to a screeching halt. That’s why investing in software that facilitates 24/7 monitoring of the network and alerts you immediately of problems is so important. You’ll save time and money on troubleshooting, maintenance, and losses due to lack of visibility and production downtime. By being able to react to issues before the network slows or goes down, you can fix the problem before end users are impacted, which can ultimately reduce or eliminate the need for staff to handle support calls.
By minimizing the time required to resolve network problems, monitoring software can free up the IT staff for other projects—projects that drive business growth–and allow the IT department to handle the job with fewer people, i.e., a reduction in staffing. The company will spend less on staff and salaries.
Related: How-To Guide: Tracking ROI for IT Projects
At the most basic level, a rock-solid video conferencing system enables employees to stay in touch with the office as they telecommute—a job perk that can save a significant amount of money. Telecommuting helps retain skilled employees who might otherwise leave; and a videoconferencing system is one technology that makes them feel a part of the team. Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses.
Companies who enact this policy also reap the rewards of remote workers. In reduced operation costs alone, companies can begin to see a return on investment for offering telecommuting options to employees. Over the course of the year, that’s 52 days’ worth of utilities, maintenance, and real estate infrastructure that the company can save.
The obvious ROI a video surveillance system provides is protection against theft and vandalism, but the ROI goes further than this. A video surveillance system helps ensure the safety of your employees, and when they feel safe they are bound to be more productive—again a boost of ROI. If you want to dive deeper into video surveillance and reap additional rewards, new surveillance cameras featuring sophisticated analytics can help a company gauge behaviors of its employees and customers. As you review footage captured by surveillance cameras, you can start to identify areas of improvement —like less time spent at the water cooler or better safety measures practiced in the warehouse—for greater productivity and efficiency.
In addition, a video surveillance system can eliminate the need to keep traditional security guards on the payroll.
Smarter Spaces Lead to Better ROI
By integrating technologies like LED lighting, automated HVAC, video surveillance systems, videoconferencing setups and network security, office environments are able to operate more efficiently. You save on utilities, maintenance, real estate, resources, and staff. Plus, by creating a safer, more comfortable work atmosphere, employees are more productive. Whether you choose to employ one or all of the smart technologies discussed, here, it all leads to greater ROI.
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