Making the Case for Business Automation

By Jeff Lanham| September 25, 2017

With the speed of business increasing faster than ever before, business automation has become a key differentiator in creating competitive advantage. From simple employee onboarding to complex accounts payable processes to streamlining communication and collaboration, organizations of all sizes are leveraging automation in a wide variety of ways to save time, reduce costs, and ultimately open more room for strategic-level work to happen, leading to even faster business growth overall.

While it’s easy to recognize the inherent benefits of business automation, making the case for knowledge work and non-trivial business process automation can be an uphill battle. Most mid-size organizations run into the following barriers:

  • Too Many Option: Seemingly every day, a new tool or application is introduced that impacts the way we work. How do you know which tools is right for your business?
  • Culture: Most people are resistant to change, especially if the change will significantly disrupt their long-established habits and routines. How do you encourage user adoption?
  • Complexity: A successful launch is not over until you can ensure the solution delivers the functionality users expect, the ability to interact with existing processes and systems, and the flexibility your business needs to adapt and grow. How do you ensure success?

5 Steps to Building a Case for Business Automation

The path from where you are to where you want to be is paved with a well thought out business case. By specifying the business needs, identifying potential process and/or technical solutions, and prioritizing high impact initiatives, you can lead the transformation while still providing leadership the kinds of safe, bulletproof proposals they expect in order to move forward with a such a plan.

Here’s how to create a scalable business case for automation that will accelerate the business in a manageable, controlled way that the entire company can get behind.

  1. Specify a challenge or opportunity: The first step in any IT project is to identify the real business need first. This common goal is what grounds the project and drives every decision moving forward.
  2. Determine what’s possible: Deep dive into the current systems and landscapes to establish what’s possible, as well as determine what new processes and technical solutions are necessary to create greater value for the business.
  3. Score your approach: Jointly assemble roadmap elements and ROI justifications based on value, cost, and risk.
  4. Devise a plan: Once you’ve defined your initiatives, plan next steps with the high impact initiatives getting delivered first. Establish a timeframe based on budget and resource availability.
  5. Don’t forget about your end users: Throughout development and post-production, focus on user enablement and adoption support to ensure the best user experience which drives adoption and maximum value.

When done right, a comprehensive business case can help you ‘chunk down’ business issues and opportunities into ‘bite-sized pieces.’ You can then consume them at a rate that meets your unique appetite for investment and change.

What business automation initiatives do you have on the horizon? Have you thought through the five steps for building your business case? Contact us to learn more about how to scale your approach for business automation that build resilience and competitive advantage for the fast-moving digital future.


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