Automation – a 4 month ROI payback?

  • Post last modified:May 30, 2023

For most organizations – automation investments will do just that – pay for itself in four short months.   This quick 5-minute read will explain very practical use cases for every organization, regardless of industry, and show back of the napkin, why investments in automation will be the easiest investment you’ve ever made.

A little about me – Matt Ruck, leader of startup firm  Previously I ran designDATA – Washington DC’s premier managed services provider.   I loved running designDATA – but I saw an opportunity to help organizations accelerate productivity through automation investments, and I have seized this opportunity to do just that.

Our mission at is to help small & medium sized organizations and businesses start their journey in automation and AI today, so that they are relevant and competitive in the future. 

As is often the case – it’s usually large businesses who adopt new technologies first, and the small business sector that I have traditionally worked with, adopt later.   They (enterprises) are making these investments now.  Why?  Because the return on investment is so compelling, it would be foolish not to.

Leslie Joseph, an analyst at Forrester comments , “It is the very direct ROI that still attracts enterprises or C-suite executives” in this article on

Beyond economic savings, for many businesses, I predict that if they do not start the automation journey today, it may be too late to do so four years from now.  Competitors will have gained an efficiency advantage that might be to significant to overcome.   Certain businesses will vanish if they do not start down the road of automation in the next two years.

Traditionally, most technology expenses are in maintenance and support – a cost of doing business.  We generally budget for upkeep, modernization, and security.   According to Tolar Group, most mid-sized organizations budget around 4% of revenue on IT annually.  Extrapolated for a 100-person organization with $20 million in revenue, we would expect that company to spend somewhere in the range of $800k annually for salary, contractors, projects, equipment, etc., on average.

What’s interesting is that as a percentage of that $800k spend – very little of it is ever directed towards projects that have a meaningful ROI.  Investing in automation has a material return on investment and the results are felt right away. 

What if we took 10% of that spend, $80k – and spent it on automation?  How long would it take for that investment to pay for itself? 

Surprisingly – not long at all.  An $80k spent on automation in a 100-person company would return a minimum of $20k monthly in efficiency savings.  Let’s learn how with real world examples.

Self help options for IT support – password resets, help with Office Suite, application installations is often bubbles to the top spot for ROI.  Self service can resolve 35% of the ticket load before it reaches an engineer, saving the organization, on average, $4,400 monthly on IT labor.  And, the generation coming into the workforce today prefer self-help IT support options over deskside support.

Efficient employee onboarding / offboarding is also a material area to look at.  Most organizations spend oodles of labor and navigate a very complex process standing up a new hire.  Checklists that require multiple people and the provisioning of accounts by various application owners.  Automation can provision users and application accounts with a simple form completion.  All of the applications and security provisions are automatically created based on job role.    

Conversely, even the most thorough and thoughtful organizations experience human error on most employee onboardings, wasting time, and delivering a less than stellar first impression to a new hire who may not be firmly committed to your organization.  A 100 person organization can easily save forty hours a month in manual employee onboarding saving a minimum of $2,000 to $4,000 monthly.

Knowledge delivery is a gigantic opportunity for efficiency and savings in almost all organizations as well.  Using chatbots to access your organization’s processes, procedures, training resources, templates, etc., has a massive impact on productivity.  The benefits are apparent and realized immediately – new hires become productive months sooner, the top performers in the company are bothered less for the same information, everyone becomes more efficient and productive in their role.  Conservatively – if we apply a 5% efficiency gained factor, we are driving $15 – $18k per month in savings back to the company.

So, as you can see, it is actually very easy to forecast material monthly savings with investments in automation and AI.  Start your journey today and maintain your competitive advantage.  Want to learn more about how automation can benefit your organization?  Send an email to Matt, – or just schedule a 30 minute meeting