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How IT Can Measure Returns on Experience (ROX)

IT leaders are often tasked with delivering digital experiences on time and on budget. Measuring return on experience (ROX) as you go can keep projects on track – and make them far more successful.

You’ll find plenty of “numbers” people in IT. We love to measure everything. Clicks, files stored, up-time, load times, costs, error rates, and many other metrics tied to our companies’ digital footprint. Why the obsession with metrics? You want measures that capture the value gained from your digital transformation efforts. There’s a new way to think about – and measure – the value IT delivers to the business: Return on experience (ROX).

Realizing the transformation vision

Every digital experience is a path to customer, partner, and employee success – or failure. Business leaders across the organization come to IT and the office of the CIO with grand ideas for creating digital experiences that not only wow and delight, but also drive business success. 

It’s up to IT leaders to deliver these digital experiences on time and on budget. Measuring ROX as you go can keep projects on track – and make them far more successful.

What is ROX?

ROX captures the results of your investments in digital experiences. In many cases, it’s the justification and rationale for these investments. These experiences include everything from blogs, mobile commerce, online customer service, HR portals, and novel uses of connected devices. To measure ROX, you need to proactively track and measure key metrics related to the experience and your organization’s overall vision.

To start measuring ROX from an IT perspective, consider using a combination of the metrics listed below. Choose one or two relevant speed and cost metrics. Then, pick a customer-focused metric, like net promoter score or customer satisfaction. You’ll also want to include a metric or two from the business leader driving the experience.

For instance, on a website, make IT metrics and other success metrics part of experience planning from the beginning. IT may be focused on 100% uptime, 20% cost reduction, and simple integrations with existing systems. A marketer might care more about conversion rates or other key marketing metrics.

How to measure ROX from an IT perspective

Here are a few sample metrics you can use to get started:


You’re probably already tracking speed performance metrics for your digital experiences, such as commerce, service, and mobile. Keep doing that – no one will stick around for a digital experience that takes too long to load. You can also measure and track time to task completion for key user experiences. Tasks such as subscribing to your newsletter, updating account information, or making a purchase. A good experience will be faster for users without increasing bounce or abandon rates. Consider PUMA, which transformed and relaunched its mobile sites, gaining speed in the process. Its mobile sites render 35% faster and load 69% faster.

Time to market

This metric measures the total time required to develop and launch a product or feature. Consider it a key IT success metric for digital experiences. Sierra Wireless invested in its developer experience, enabling its customers to create proofs of concept more quickly. The result? Its customers are completing Internet of Things (IoT) projects in three to six months that might have taken as long as 18 months previously.

Cost to maintain

Track the impact of digital experience investments in both technology and resource use. Moving to better digital experiences will likely involve an upfront IT investment, but very often, that investment involves removing a dated technology that drains resources. Take content management systems (CMS) as an example. Traditional CMS can turn content management ideas into IT projects. In contrast, newer approaches to CMS empower content creators to do more without requiring many resources from IT other than governance. And more importantly, they also support better digital experiences.

Cost to implement

Upfront costs impact ROX, too. As you consider costs, add up all the costs to realize the experience, including costs of the technology, professional services, and training needed. Consider budgeted costs as well as actual costs.


Successful digital experiences engage an audience. You can measure the ROX of virtually any experience simply by tracking engagement rates for the intended audience. For instance, NOW TV created an experience that helped service agents find information faster. Daily agent engagement with learning and training content quickly soared from 50% to nearly 100%.

Customer satisfaction

Calculate this metric by asking customers to rate their satisfaction with an experience or specific interaction on a 10-point scale, and average the results. Customer satisfaction provides you with an idea of how successful a digital experience is overall. This is a good metric to consider along with costs. A digital experience that positively shifts costs but lowers overall satisfaction needs help.

Net promoter score (NPS)

Like customer satisfaction, you capture data for this metric by surveying customers. NPS measures the likelihood of customers to recommend your brand. Ask customers how likely they are to recommend your brand using a 10-point scale. Scores of 9s and 10s are promoters, 7s and 8s are satisfied, and lower scores come from detractors. Subtract your percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. That’s your NPS. Best Buy Canada saw a year-over-year increase in NPS of 9.5% by improving the experience it delivers to customers.

You can start measuring IT ROX today. In doing so, you can position key IT investments not as cost-centers, but as significant value drivers for your business. Want to go deeper? Read the blog post: Calculating ROX for tips on translating experiences that delight into measurable financial returns.

On-demand webinar featuring Gartner Research

Businesses have a wealth of data within CRM systems, but few are using the data to its full potential across digital touchpoints. Learn how you can take full advantage of CRM by viewing “Put Your CRM to Work with a DXP,” an on-demand webinar with featured guest Irina Guseva, a Senior Research Director with Gartner. Watch it now.

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