How to Write the Business Case for Your Digital Transformation
by Donald Fomby, on 22 October, 2020
To transform or not to transform?
That’s the question many company executives ask themselves when they see the growing necessity to make their business more agile. Most likely, this thought brought you to this page as well.
Digital transformation is definitely a serious change that requires a lot of investment and prior planning. You need to consolidate all your efforts and have all your teams on the same page to make the digital transformation process go smoothly.
But we can’t say all these painstaking efforts don’t bring any positive results. According to research by AIMultiple:
- 40% of executives report that digital transformation helped them improve operational efficiency
- 36% named improved marketing efforts as the biggest benefit of digital transformation
- 35% say that with the help of a digital transformation strategy, they significantly improved customer experience
Sounds awesome, in theory. But how are things looking in practice?
Unfortunately, not so well. According to the McKinsey report, only 16% of executives say their digital transformation strategies are succeeding. This proves that there are quite a few hidden obstacles in this entire process.
Why are digital transformation strategies failing?
There are a lot of reasons. Most of the time, the organisation just becomes fatigued from continuous change, especially if there are no visible results for a long time.
However, sometimes a digital transformation strategy is already failing in the planning stage because of a poor digital transformation business case.
That’s what we’re going to focus on in today’s article and will try to guide you through some tips to help you write an effective business case for your company’s digital transformation.
1. Create a Roadmap
First and foremost, the business case for your digital transformation needs an extensive, detailed roadmap.
Every company has its own approach to such a roadmap because every digital transformation strategy is unique. However, there are four general elements that every digital transformation roadmap should include:
- Destination. Your roadmap should start with a detailed description of where you see your business after the digital transformation strategy is implemented. The way you articulate your leadership vision of this destination will determine whether the stakeholders will support the entire strategy.
- Means of getting to the destination. At this point, you need a clear definition of the timeframe for the entire digital transformation process. Here, you can also prototype the final result of the transformation using data or case studies to make it more credible for the stakeholders.
- Key digital transformation activities. In this part of the roadmap, you need to give a very detailed description of the activities needed to complete the transformation. For instance, if your transformation starts with digital marketing and content, provide data on the expected results of this strategy and list the services you’re going to work with, like TrustMyPaper or GrabMyEssay, if you’re planning to outsource content writing.
- Main milestones. A schedule is an essential part of a digital transformation roadmap. Break down the entire strategy into a few milestones to show how you’re going to implement digital transformation step-by-step.
In the above-mentioned points, we talked a lot about making the roadmap credible and detail-oriented. An effective way to achieve that is to make the entire roadmap focused on objectives. These objectives should be realistic and tailored to your business’s interests.
To set the right objectives, you can use the popular SMART model. This approach helps you set goals and objectives that are:
- Specific. What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve this goal? Who is involved?
- Measurable. How will you know that the goal is achieved? How will you measure it? What is the budget?
- Achievable. Which resources do I need to achieve this goal?
- Relevant. Is it the right time to set this goal? Does it match the needs of your business? Do you have the right person to help you achieve it?
- Time-bound. When will I achieve the goal? What is the timeframe for every objective?
The SMART model can be used for every business plan, including the business case for your digital transformation. This approach can make your roadmap clear and focus on your business’s needs.
2. Define the Metrics to Assess Your Digital Transformation
A successful digital transformation strategy should be based on data. It’s in you and your stakeholders’ best interest to ensure that digital transformation will bring results. That’s why you need to set the metrics that will make these results tangible.
Of course, these metrics will depend on the goals of your digital transformation strategy. For example, if you want to improve customer relationships, you might need the following metrics to evaluate the success of your digital transformation strategy:
- User lifetime value. If you’re planning to incorporate technology to acquire new customers, this metric will help you determine how much profit every new customer brings to you. This metric is also very useful for calculating the return on investment (ROI).
- Inbound and outbound marketing performance. Companies often employ inbound and outbound strategies in digital marketing to improve customer relationships. The metrics collected after the implementation of these strategies also show the success of your digital transformation efforts.
- Customer experience. This metric includes the net promoter score (how many customers love, are neutral towards, or hate your brand), customer churn rate (those who cancel and don’t renew the subscription to your service), and customer satisfaction scores. To measure customer experience, you might also want to collect and analyse customer support tickets.
While the first two metrics are mostly relevant for a digital transformation strategy aimed at improving customer relationships, the third one can be universal for everyone. Reportedly, essays, writers and researchers have found that customer experience metrics can also be helpful in measuring operational improvement, workforce productivity, and team morale if your digital transformation strategy focuses on making changes within your company.
Whatever the reason for the digital transformation is, stick to your goals when writing your business case. It will help you identify all the metrics needed to measure your success.
3. Use Your Organisational Change Management Strategy as the Foundation
When writing the business case for your company’s digital transformation, you will notice that some of its objectives might intertwine with your organisational change management strategy.
This strategy describes how your organisation should address change, both internal and external. The change management strategy also involves some PR mechanisms that will minimise any negative consequences of change inside or outside of your company.
Digital transformation can sometimes be disruptive. According to Marie Fincher, a writer and researcher at Classyessay, says that during the process, you might even need to reinvent some of the business processes just to accomplish your digital transformation goals.
To make sure that these fundamental changes go well, you need to consult your organisational change management strategy to evaluate the risks. This strategy will also help you:
- Delegate digital transformation activities to the right employees
- Determine cross-functional and cross-department changes needed for the success of the digital transformation
- Set new policies and procedures to make the transformation go smoothly
You can use your organisational change management strategy as a guide you will consult when writing the business case for your digital transformation strategy. This document can help you make more informed decisions and ensure that the transformation process goes as expected.
One More Thing
In this article, we’ve talked a lot about writing a digital transformation business case that reflects your company’s needs. While the decision is mostly in your hands as a leader, you cannot forget to recognise the role of your employees in digital transformation as well.
So, before you complete your business case, consult your colleagues, especially those teams that the transformation will affect the most. Your goal is to have everyone on board for your digital transformation strategy to be successful.
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