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How to build the business case for a digital workplace

How to build the business case for a digital workplace

In today’s hyper mobile world, digital-workplace and technology has become a necessity. This blog discusses steps to build a strategy and a business case to make digital workplace a reality. This article will help one better understand how to create a convincing business case for a digital workplace and get management approval to start the new initiative.

Step 1: Define the problem, quantify the impact

A digital workplace can solve problems and create efficiencies. Unless the problem is explained clearly, along with the solution and its benefits, management will not consider such a project or any necessary budgets. Start by making a list of all the concrete benefits a digital workplace can provide.

The following are examples:

  • Productivity of remote workers/teams

According to a study done by Gallup, an alarming 70% of American employees aren’t working to their full potential, and they’re slowing economic growth. There is an epidemic of employee disengagement, which directly affects the company’s overall productivity. Due to this problem, employers lose a shocking $450 billion to $550 billion every year. The problem amplifies when companies have multiple offices around the world. A digital workplace in such a scenario can enable more effective collaboration and greatly boost employee engagement and productivity, and thereby reduce the chances of lost revenue.

  •  Scalable on-boarding

Large corporations spend a great amount of money to on-board new employees. Interactive, multimedia digital workplace technology can simplify and scale the on-boarding process through repetitive procedures and effective remote training.

  • Adopting an Enterprise Information Portal

Many organizations have a lot of documents which aren’t shared with the right users and are usually not centralized onto a single platform for easier access. An Enterprise Information Portal (EIP), also known as a business portal, is a model for a website and can allow an open space which is used as a single gateway to company’s information and knowledge base. This information can be shared with employees, customers, business partners, board of directors, or the public. By incorporating this digital workplace technology, companies can minimize their paper trail, retrieve information easily, and centralize all their sensitive documents.

Such examples provide a more substantial demonstration of how investing in digital workplace technology can positively affect ROI, which makes for a very convincing business case.

Step 2: Enlist support

It’s relatively much easier to gain approval from the management for budget expenditure when multiple departments can benefit from the investment. When benefit of such initiatives, involve more than one department, the likelihood of management buy-in to help drive adoption is higher.

Below is a list of departments who are most likely to benefit:

  •  Sales/HR – Global companies usually diversify their sales people beyond headquarters and across the globe. A digital workplace is the perfect way to hold meetings to keep everyone on the same page and to also hold collaborative meetings with both customers and future prospects.
  •   Engineering/development – Developers and IT workers can use a digital workplace to collaborate on architecture, solve problems, and hold daily/ weekly meetings.
  •  Finance – This department often relies on numbers from multiple data sources; by implementing a digital workplace technology finance teams can view data from multiple places simultaneously, making the process more efficient and easy to visualize the bigger picture.

Step 3: Create a roll-out strategy

Once the technology is in the workplace, driving the adoption will be critical for its success and realization of ROI.

In order to make the transition seamless and not overwhelming for employees, it’s best to choose a small subset of employees with a penchant for adopting new technologies. It could be a department or a chosen few across multiple departments.  Employees may also volunteer for roles.

Gathering feedback during the initial soft launch is critical to iron out the kinks and usability issues.

A detailed training and roll-out plan, for the launch of new technology is important. Most vendors can customize their ‘Out of the box’ training packages to organizational needs.

Finally, create incentives to make the transition from ‘Old’ to ‘New’ ways for employees. Employees value their time and they need to understand the benefits of adopting new technology. Change is hard and most organizations fail to focus on employee adoption. Hence a shocking number of new initiatives fail.

Moving forward

A digital workplace is a worthy investment, but management might not immediately hop on board with the idea. Therefore, it is important to have a sound strategy in place to both qualify and quantify the investment (THINK ROI). A great alternative is to start small, show ROI and then implement the entire plan in phases. Some of the many benefits include accelerating innovation progress, encouraging teamwork, and boosting revenue.

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