The ROI on a Fully-Functional Government Website

The ROI on a Fully-Functional Government Website
Posted on 12/07/2017
CivicLive Blog - The ROI on a Fully-Functional Government Website

Scenario: You’ve been fielding complaints about your city’s website for a while now—citizens say it’s too slow and it’s hard to find anything. Your staff says it’s too slow and they can’t navigate the old, outdated system it’s built on. You know firsthand what everyone’s talking about. You really want to update and modernize your city’s website. But, there isn’t much room in the budget and you’re finding it hard to justify it as a priority.

It's not enough that you know technology evolves at a fast pace. And, even though you’re aware that a five-year-old site is probably already outdated (particularly if your website provider is not providing you with continuous updates), you still can’t justify the cost. But what if there was a metric that could prove to you the monetary benefit of modernizing your site? The truth is, keeping up with web governance trends can actually save your municipality money. Let us show you how.

What is ROI?

ROI is the acronym for, what is arguably the most popular monetary calculation, Return On Investment. Companies use this metric to determine the performance of a business or investment by subtracting its cost from its gain.

ROI = (Gains – Cost)/Cost

Calculating the ROI on a fully-functional government website can provide you with the strongest argument to justify an upgrade as a priority.

The Cost of Doing Business

In 2015, Adobe commissioned a report from Deloitte to study the impact on transforming or digitizing governments around the world. They focused on municipal, state and federal branches of government in Australia, and the results were astounding.

Deloitte found that even a 20% increase in service offered online would provide an additional $18 billion AUD in productivity, cost-saving, and efficiency benefits to governments. The kicker was, Deloitte was able to forecast that it would only cost Australia $6.1 billion AUD to implement. Although this study is from Australia, it is still a perfect analog for governments in North America. It is but one example of new research showing that e-services can save governments time and other resources.

The report noted that the average cost per online transaction was only $0.40 AUD, compared to $16.90 AUD for a face-to-face interaction.

Think about the number of face-to-face interactions some of your staff may have during the day. If you were able to move some of those actions online, the cost savings could be astronomical.

If you want to calculate some of the savings yourself in US dollars, use the chart below:

Type of Channel
Cost Per Interaction
# of Interactions Per Day
Total Cost Per Day

These numbers are based on Deloitte's US conversions. Numbers, rates or cost savings are just visualization, and will vary for each municipality.

Using e-Services to Drive Engagement, Adoption, and Satisfaction

Reducing face-to-face interactions by offering more of your municipal services online can have real tangible benefits for your constituents. For one, it will cut down on the amount of time they spend travelling, waiting, or being placed on hold in order to receive service. It also gives your constituents the flexibility to work around their own schedules, instead of having to take time out of their day in order to visit to a government office.

Moving services online should not and will not eliminate in-person, face-to-face interactions that are important for helping your government and constituents maintain open communication. Offering more services online is merely another way to expand, or augment your level of service delivery to your constituents.

Type of services you can offer online include:

  • City events calendar
  • Business directories
  • Meeting minutes and agendas
  • Permit and license applications
  • Service requests
  • Bill payments
  • Push notifications

Offering any or all of these services will make it easier for your constituents to interact with the relevant service departments. They will be able to access these services at any time of the day, when it’s most convenient for them. Deloitte calculates tangible cost savings for consumers/citizens using productivity, time saving and improved (i.e. reduced) travel expenses.

There are non-tangible benefits too; these include the instant feedback site users receive during their online service transaction. Instead of mailing in a form and waiting to hear back three weeks later, users can determine their next steps instantly after the interaction.

When building e-services, you should keep in mind that every service should offer some form of instantaneous acknowledgement or feedback, whether it’s a simple thank-you message, a receipt or a ticket number that residents can then use to follow-up with.

More reliable, readily-available services build a sense of trust with your citizens, which makes them more likely to interact favourably with you in the future.

How an eGovernment CMS Can Help

When you use an eGovernment CMS to assist in moving more services online, you help foster engagement and dialogue between your government and their constituents. Offering a modern, robust citizen-focused website means your city residents have a trustworthy, secure place to turn to for services.

An eGovernment CMS can potentially help save your government thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your website. Offering quicker, cheaper, online services saves both your staff and constituents time.

Contact us today to learn more about how a government CMS can help save you time and money.

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