Over-the-top ideas for contributing to the bottom line . . .
I have been considering ways that my IT department can directly contribute to the company's bottom line. This consideration became considerably more urgent as I considered the Boss's plan to remove a considerable consideration from our budget.
I called my department staff together for an offsite brainstorming session to identify quality, high-yielding methods to generate income. In between the very fine lunch, the round of golf and the even finer dinner, we formulated some excellent ideas which I'm previewing here prior to presenting them to our annual executive budget meeting next week.
We know that Web advertising has surged in recent years, increasing by 66 percent in Britain last year, which means a lot of advertisers are desperately looking for places to sink their cash. Our company is sadly lacking in the area of online advertising so that became our primary revenue focus.
Obviously we'll introduce advertising to all our corporate Web pages. This will lead to more targeted advertising on our intranet site, where advertisers have a captive audience of our employees. To enhance the attractiveness of this offering, we're proposing changes to force employees to use the intranet constantly. It will always replace the user's default home page so employees see our ads rather than those on Google, CNN or Fox Sports. We'll convert our e-mail system to Web-mail only and move all address books to intranet forms. That way we increase the "eyeball hits", which is what advertisers are looking for these days.
We'll adopt Google's advertising practice, whereby advertisers get charged twice if a user doubleclicks on a Web ad to open it. We'll not only tell all staff they must doubleclick on ads, we'll also set the doubleclick speed of every mouse to fast, so users will end up clicking four or five times for each ad.
A particularly brilliant idea is to extend advertising to each e-mail sent. Some free-mail providers add a one line self-promotion to e-mails, but there's a rich area not previously exploited. Located at the bottom of every business e-mail is that annoying disclaimer stating that if you're not the intended recipient of the e-mail, you must delete it, advise the sender or get prosecuted for something. Aside from this being ludicrous in concept and unenforceable in law, it's e-mail space that no one ever reads, so could instead be used for rolling banner ads and animated promotions.
We also considered adding logos and advertisements to our company car fleet. However as this is outside the control, and revenue, of IT, we moved that to the list of ideas rejected as impractical and far fetched. I'll include this list with my presentation as it implies all our other ideas are realistic and well-considered.
Revenue by Employee
We identified employees as a major potential source of revenue, which seems only fair since they're the major source of expense. Many business tools such as broadband access, mobile phones, laptops and printers that employees use at work are duplicated in their homes. If we allow employees full personal use of these items, they save money at home, appreciate what a wonderful company they work for and won't mind paying a small monthly "personal use" charge. Of course, by consolidating all these items into a bulk purchase corporate account, we increase our income with no increase in expense.