Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quantifying the Return on Investment Potential of Applescript

Many of the arguments for the adoption of workflow automation in general and AppleScript automation in particular might seem obvious. However, it is always nice to be objective and simply present established facts to support such claims, especially when you are attempting to convince those who control a budget that it is worth the investment.
As fortune would have it, in 1999 GISTICS, a research firm that investigates new technology adoption and the strategic role that third-party developers play in maximizing the payback of new technologies, created seven informative publications analyzing Apple's technology. One of them was titled "AppleScript Payback Assessment — Return-on-investment Calculations for the Deployment of AppleScript by Smart Media Producers". Although it is now more than ten years old, this 54-page document highlights some very impressive results from using AppleScript to automate a workflow. I have derived most of the factual data I present here from that report.

Monetary Savings

Deploying AppleScript solutions can yield return on investment (ROI) figures anywhere from a typical five-fold annual ROI to an astonishing 24 times ROI realized in the first year of AppleScript deployment. In 1998, AppleScript produced an estimated $100,630,500 in total savings for North American media producer firms. One firm, after an investment of 500 hours developing a suite of scripts, derived $500,000 to $1.2 million in annual savings.

Improved Quality

When deploying AppleScript as a strategic platform by which to reengineer and systematize business processes for profit, executives and owners derive higher quality production at significantly lower costs and shorter production cycles. Scripts don't forget even the smallest rules they are "taught" and the attention to detail never fluctuates, no matter how tedious the task.

Increased Productivity

Simple tasks can be performed three to ten times faster by using AppleScript. For example, AppleScript can reduce complex tasks such as the composition of a catalog from a nine-person workweek to less than one hour.

Increased Workload and Profit

AppleScript creates more predictable workflows, enabling firms to accept larger jobs and faster cycle times.

Rapid Implementation

Compared to the time required to plan and develop solutions built with programming languages such as C++ or Visual Basic, AppleScript solutions can be built very quickly. Time-saving ideas can become part of your daily production process in a much shorter time frame and require less development and troubleshooting than other languages can offer.

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