10 Tangible Benefits and Intangible Benefits

by Kishan Tambralli

Tangible vs Intangible Project Benefits 

No project will be initiated without some or the other benefit.  Below are the most common types of project benefits within IT Projects. This is not an exhaustive list but has the most commonly recurring benefits. Sometimes the benefits can overlap with each other. In reality, the benefits will be specific to a given project but will generally fall into one of the below categories.

Tangible Benefits

Increased Revenue

  • The most common type of benefit and a very broad category.
  • Increased revenue is a benefit when a project has a direct impact on the revenue of the organization.
  • The additional revenue could be coming from a new product launch or by providing an offer that could attract existing customers.
  • When stating revenue as a benefit make sure you put a precise dollar value against the benefit. Also, add additional information you have so that the person reading your case will get all the details they need.
  • Examples are increased sales or increased subscriptions.

Use our Benefits Management Pack to identify, plan, track and realise your project benefits. 

Change Management Pack


Resource Cost Savings

  • When systems are automated this benefit is obvious as automation can save manual process time. This benefit can also realize when system issues are fixed.
  • Often system changes are aimed at making processes efficient so it is very common that a manual task will not be required after the system changes are implemented.
  • This benefit could mean that the organization can make some roles redundant or relocate some roles to a different department.
  • This one of the most sensitive benefits as it affects people and can cause an issue if not handled discreetly.
  • In some cases systems which are old and need specialized skills will need expense manpower. If the project gets rid of the old system then the expensive resource will not be required.
  • Examples are resource reduction, resource optimization, cross departments movement which have reduced the company resource plans.
Project Benefits - Tangible and Intangible
Project Benefits - Tangible and Intangible

Hardware Cost Savings

  • Some IT Projects replace the existing hardware with new hardware which can be less expensive.
  • The project could also migrate data from server scattered across to one single server.
  • The new hardware can require less maintenance which will result in cost savings.
  • In some cases, the hardware could be old and expensive. Getting rid of the hardware will save the company some many.
  • Again it is important that you highlight the cost of the hardware is based on estimations which may differ from actual savings.
  • In some cases, there could be savings by moving your applications to a cloud-based service which will reduce your hardware expenditure.
  • Examples are decommissioning of old hardware, combining of servers.

Software Cost Savings

  • Another one of the typical benefits in an IT Project and are part of the IT project plan.
  • Many IT Projects are formed to get migrate old software which needs high maintenance.
  • The new software can save costs as it could be low maintenance.
  • The project could replace two similar software to reduce the licenses costs.
  • In some cases, the project may replace the existing propriety software with an open source software.
  • Examples are reduced license fees, reduced software support costs.

Productivity Gain

  • Automating systems should lead to productivity gain which can allow people to do more work.
  • The Introducing system reduces manual tasks so the resources can be diverted to other areas.
  • Sometimes system issues force the users to perform a manual workaround. Fixing the defects may reduce the manual steps and allow productivity gain as a benefit.
  • Examples increased application processing or optimization of resource time.

Process Improvements

  • Projects can improve the time taken for a certain process to complete.
  • This can be automating a simple manual data entry operation or automating a complex claims adjudication process.
  • Improving processes means the time taken to complete a process is less which can save time which will free up the resource to do other tasks.
Tangible Assets,Tangible Assets, Tangible Benefits, Tangible Vs Intangible
Tangible Assets

Intangible Benefits

Audit Finding
  • Some of the projects can be formed due to a major audit finding.
  • Generally, audit findings are related to either a process not working on no proper controls are in place.

Contribution to the organizational strategy

  • All the projects should contribute to the organization's strategy is some or the other way.
  • Examples are Increased Market Position, Market Leader in Technology.

Enhanced User Experience

  • The Goal of many IT Projects is to build a sophisticated UI or Interface which can help system users to easily use the functionality the system provides.
  • If the system is being developed for external users then this benefit could also mean enhanced customer experience.
  • Examples are faster checkout times on websites.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

  • Often IT Projects which are meant to build hardware or software for customers will have this benefit.
  • The project will target to make the partnership between the customers and service providers better.
  • The project could be aimed at providing additional functionality to the customer or an entirely new service.

Increased Compliance

  • Part or some projects are aimed at addressing any systems or process which will address compliance or audit issues.
  • If an organization breaches a regulation or compliance measure then the company could end up paying huge fines.
  • Sometimes the benefit of the project could be increased security for the organization.
  • Automating a manual process like check posting could save time and reduce human errors.
  • For example, fixing a bug which allows private data to seen by unwanted personal.
  • Example is HIPAA Requirement or Privacy Regulation.

Brand Equity

  • Maintaining a brand name is one of the key objectives for a lot of companies.
  • Some projects aim at improving brand equity by providing better services and maintain standards.
  • An Example is integration with all the major vendors.