Measuring The Total Economic Impact Of Google Apps

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Published: December 30, 2010

In May 2010, Google commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the total economic impact and expected return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by adopting Google Apps after having managed a traditional on-premise messaging and collaboration environment. Google Apps is a cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform that includes mail, calendaring, IM, as well as Web-based collaborative documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and sites. The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework and analysis to evaluate the potential financial impact of switching from legacy email and productivity solutions to Google Apps.

To accomplish this analysis, Forrester conducted a combination of in-depth executive interviews as well as two broader surveys targeted at both IT and end user groups. This approach allowed Forrester to realize the broad impact Google Apps is having on IT and end user organizations and to supplement this data with an understanding of the underlying factors driving firms to move to a cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform.

Google Apps Drives IT Cost Savings And Key Collaboration BenefitsOur interviews and broader survey around Google Apps and our subsequent financial analysis identified several key takeaways for organizations migrating to a cloud-based messaging and collaboration environment:

  • Ninety-three percent of respondents saw positive, tangible IT and end user impacts that drove ROI. End users familiar with cloud-based personal email transitioned more smoothly to using Google Apps at work.
  • End user productivity gains were even greater than IT cost savings. End users were able to use Gmail more efficiently than their previous email solution and collaborate more effectively with Google Docs and Google Sites than with traditional office software.
  • The switch to Google Apps was usually driven by replacing or augmenting an existing email solution. However, Forrester saw a growing number of cases where organizations chose Google Apps for collaboration and then migrated to the messaging platform.
  • For the representative organization, the three-year results of switching to Google Apps from traditional infrastructure include:
    • Risk-adjusted ROI of 307%
    • Risk-adjusted net present value (NPV) of $10,039,612
    • Payback (break-even) within seven months

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