It can be difficult to introduce new technology into a business. Technology is essential to the success of any business, but a lot of time, money and resources are spent making new technologies work. And sometimes they just don’t. So presenting a clear, compelling and well-thought-out business case is essential for new technologies to help pave the way for success.
When it comes to acquiring and introducing these new technologies, it often falls on the CIO to make the business case, and a lot of weight rests on their shoulders to make sure they get it right when they do. ‘we give him the green light. But, they’re not the only person in a business with the understanding or experience of how today’s technology performs and what would be needed to make processes better and more efficient.
Employees who use technology on a daily basis are also able to provide valuable information, simply because of their active involvement on a daily basis. This is why, more often than not, teams can be frustrated and feel demotivated when the technology in their workplace does not quite meet their expectations or their needs. However, to overcome this problem, employees need to have the right tools and the right information so that they can present their management team with a compelling and actionable business case for new technologies.
The role of a CIO
In short, the role of the CIO is to oversee the management and implementation of new technologies that benefit the company and its customers. It is an important role. One that has likely been more enlightened over the past 18 months due to the pandemic than before as the way companies do business has had to change and has led to a huge push on digital transformation and the automation of the company.
Quite often, C-Suite counterparts at CIOs turn to them for new ideas and new technology initiatives. Yet despite this, CIOs will find themselves in a position where they will convince their peers that complex technology is right for the business and, unless their peers have computer training, they may not understand the mechanics. that underpin it. That can mean it’s a tough feat for the CIO, but it’s one that a solid business case can help them with.
The importance of a solid business case
The business case provides CIOs with a tool that enables them to provide key decision makers with the information needed for their suggested project. Think of it as providing them with a clear, highly articulated framework. It includes everything they need to know to assess the potential of the project, from benefits and costs to risks and alternative options. While technology is at the heart of the project, it allows the CIO to break it down into key points that business leaders understand and really care about – ultimately answering the always important question: what is it? will this do for the company?
Before preparing the business case, it is essential to consider the following key points. This will help you know if this is a project that you should or should not present to your business leaders. If so, you already have most of the information you want to include in your proposal.
# 1 – Is the grass greener?
A good place to start is to ask the question, “Does the business really need it?” “. It is important to be clear whether the company will buy and implement new technology for fun. Yes, it can be shiny and new and maybe do some fancy things, but how will that help the business? For example, some companies dream of doing a complete overhaul of their IT infrastructure, but they also see it as risky, expensive, and an unusually complex process. It is important to be realistic about the suggestions you make.
# 2 – What problem (s) will it solve?
It really builds on the point above. Just like assessing whether the business really needs a new technology, it is important to assess the problems that technology will solve. Look at the advantages it brings, which you will be able to realize that you could not before, but also do not ignore the disadvantages if there are any. While you might be passionate about it, you also need to be practical.
# 3 – What does the business need?
As is often the case in businesses, introducing something new comes with costs, time and risks. Be upfront about these factors, but also think about what else the business needs to make the new technology work and perform well. For example, whether staff will need to be trained and if so, which teams, when and how. It’s best to cover all your bases, set your expectations, and plan the project in depth. Additionally, consider any other projects that might be in the planning stages, launching, or recently launched, and how they all impact each other.
# 4 – how can you make it work
This step is really the icing on the cake. So you’ve thought about all the other factors, but what is really needed to get buy-in from your colleagues? You may be able to convince your seniors, but what do your colleagues think of this new technology that you are proposing? Often, one of the major problems with the introduction of new technologies is the issue of buy-in from everyday users. If you know that you have or will have the support of your colleagues, it is definitely worth noting.
Food for thought
It is important that employees have a voice in the technology used by their business. They can provide valuable information, and companies should encourage their employees to come forward and make suggestions. Nonetheless, a well thought out plan will go a long way. Business decision making can be a minefield and the pressure is greater than ever to achieve digital transformation success. However, these key steps should provide you with the clarity you need when developing your business case. This will allow you to see the big picture and plan the project thoroughly, ironing out any potential issues. It is essential to have a well thought out plan.
Zahi Yaari, vice president of the EMEA region, SnapLogic