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Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure that is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment in an information project. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.


The return on investment formula:


ROI Formula

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In the above formula "gains from investment", refers to the proceeds obtained from the investment of interest. Return on investment is a popular metric because of its versatility and simplicity. If an IGT investment does not have a positive ROI, then the investment should be reconsidered. Example, if the use of a paper over e-documents system is more efficient, the deployment of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) would undermine the "paper" efficiency and vice versa.


The calculation for return on investment can be modified to suit a number of situations - it depends on what organizations include as returns and costs. The definition of the term attempts to measure the profitability of an investment and there is no one "right" calculation. For example, an organization may compare two different solutions to address a specific business need. The organization's financial analyst, may compare the same two products using an ROI calculation to assist in determining which solution has the highest ROI. ROI calculations can be easily manipulated to suit the organization's purposes, the result can be expressed in many different ways.


At one time, ROI used to be a term of concern only to accountants. Now organizations can use ROI to prove the value of a variety of activities.


The following are common types of ROI that organizations can use to prove value in their investment:



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