Real Stories: The After-the-Implementation Business Case

Welcome to the next case study in our series about what has and hasn't worked well for Real Story Group subscribers selecting MarTech and CX technology.  This post talks about the importance of a business case. 

Case Study #3: The Business Case Came After the Implementation

We get calls all the time from RSG's advisory subscribers asking for help in writing a business case for new technology. A recent call from a global media company surprised us because their request for help writing their business case was coming months after they had already purchased and implemented the technology!

It's common for questions to arise once the technology is implemented and the value is questioned. No matter how many meetings or conversations with stakeholders aiming for consensus, nothing beats having a business case on paper that can be referenced when fingers get pointed if things don’t go as expected.

In this case, the enterprise was struggling to find an ROI, and we counseled them to take a somewhat different approach — one that might not work for every circumstance but did work for them.

Cost of Doing Business (CDB)

One approach to a technology business case classifies expenses as a precondition for doing business, specifically when there is no immediately definable ROI.  One example is upgrading a digital network: there may not be an immediate measurable ROI, but you need the right amount of bandwidth to do business. This is known as a cost of doing business (CDB) analysis.

A common and quite successful business rationale for some technology is, “We just couldn’t go on without one anymore.” This is how phones, then faxes, then email, and finally instant messaging got into the enterprise: you simply couldn’t work without them.

Both ROI and CDB offer valid analytical models for constructing a business case. When all else fails, try articulating the implications of doing absolutely nothing: what does it mean for employees, customers, and partners going forward?

Lessons Learned

Lesson #1: No matter how obvious you think your need for technology is, always document your business case for future reference before you invest in new tools.

Lesson #2: Consider Cost of Doing Business (CDB) as an alternative to Return on Investment (ROI) calculations for business justification.

Lesson #3: Be sure to articulate the costs and impact of doing nothing at all in any business case.

Lesson #4: Recognize that migration, implementation, and ongoing enhancements are likely to comprise the lion’s share of your long-term total cost of ownership, so budget accordingly.

We've also compiled a longer list of tips to building a business case.

I'm always interested to hear how your platform selection process is going, so please feel free to reach out to me or an RSG colleague if you'd like another set of eyes on your project.

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