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Building a Business Case For Your New Software

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Building a Business Case For Your New Software

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Building a Business Case For Your New Software

  1. 1. Building a business case for your new software Whitepaper
  2. 2. Whitepaper Building a business case for your new software How do you know if your Software needs upgrading? What to do if your business software needs updating?? Considerations prior to building your business case Assessing your needs in an organisational context: Investing in new software or upgrading your existing system is a decision that will normally require the buy in and authorisation of your senior management team. The expense of this investment is normally the main contributory factor for such requests being turned down. To be able to counter these responses, and ensure that you are best prepared, there are a number of areas that should be included in your proposal. It is also imperative that you look at a number of other factors to ensure that your organisation is ready for change prior to starting to put your business case together. To ensure maximum return on investment, it is important to think about the implications of introducing new technology into your business. • Your current systems are not fulfilling your requirements. • Confirm the long term strategy and objectives of the business. • Decide on the type and level of change required by your organisations in the short, medium and long term. • Define how the business functions will assist in meeting these objectives. • Review the functionality and benefits available within the upgrade version of the software with your Business Partner. • Align the functionality with the internal support required to insure the business meets its aims and objectives. • Discuss the benefits, potential ROI and assess the impact the new version will have for your organisation with your key stakeholders and Business Partner. • Conclude your overall findings by undertaking an initial cost benefit analysis and decide whether to recommend that a formal business case it put together. To do this you must look at and understand your organisation’s strategy and objectives and how the business is looking to change and develop in the future. It can be difficult to measure the impact that can be made from introducing a more automated system. Quantifying cost or time savings, increased service and efficiency levels, or the impact of accurate and timely communication before installation can be hard. For this reason before starting on any project you must understand, the key areas and issues that you want to address and how a new system can help your business achieve and support its long term aims and objectives. A new piece of software does not make change happen alone, it’s also important to look at how it will align with your Finance strategy, IT strategy and overall business strategy. Gaining buy-in from key stakeholders will be instrumental going forward so it is important to establish this as soon as possible.
  3. 3. Whitepaper Building a business case for your new software Why prepare a business case? Key areas to consider when building your business case It is important to prepare a business case, to give stakeholders and decision makers an overview of current systems and processes. This will provide you with the opportunity to outline deficiencies in current systems and processes and assess the impact that this has on the wider business. In addition the business case will allow you to demonstrate and present quantifiable benefits and savings from purchasing or upgrading a system. This will assist you in securing budget and commitment from your senior management team. In addition to the information collated from your assessment you will need to consider the following key areas when putting together your business case: • Provide an overview of your current system, its limitations, and how an enhanced system will facilitate the delivery of business aims and objectives. • How additional software functionality will improve cost-saving and efficiencies, and assist the organisation in delivering its aims and objectives. • The effect a new or upgraded system will have on areas such as automating processes, operations efficiencies, control costs and customer service. • How a new system will impact on the processes and roles across the organisation as a whole. • Address the short term impact of implementing a new system on your team and any other identified barriers to gaining approval from the senior management team. • Demonstrate the benefits of upgrading your current systems and provide return on investment calculations to justify the expenditure. It is important that throughout the process you regularly communicate and involve all key users/stakeholders. Including stakeholders from across the business will help to give you a holistic view of how the software can be adopted company-wide.
  4. 4. Whitepaper Building a business case for your new software How to justify your business case Financial benefits Non-financial benefits And finally… At first glance it may appear difficult to justify the financial spend of investing in a new system. It is in fact quite easy to quantify the savings that can be made to the business. For example: Non-financial benefits have an equally important role in ensuring that organisation profits are maintained. For example: Adopting a strategic approach to your business case will allow you to demonstrate organisational wide benefits rather than just the impact a new system will have on your team. By adopting this approach it is more likely to result in your project gaining approval. • By automating routine processes, time spent on administrative tasks and manual procedures are significantly reduced, meaning productivity and service levels will be improved. • With the need for manual processing removed employees will be able to spend more time on strategic activities that will make a real difference to performance and business objectives. • Reinvesting the time saved from automating processes can impact dramatically on departmental operations which directly affect the bottom line, such as: º Establishing areas for improvement and putting measures in place that can reduce resource levels and overheads. º Having integrated systems can save vast amounts of time not having to re-key information. • Recording and reporting on targets, efficiency and retention levels will be clearer and easier, helping you to understand your employees, customers and business. • Implementing a new system will also give your team the opportunity to check and cleanse data ensuring that it is accurate and up to date. • By re-investing time and reviewing strategic areas problems can be identified, addressed and improvements made. These measures can have organisational wide benefits such as improving morale, motivation, retention, productivity etc. • Upgrading your software will ensure that it is running on the latest technology – older software is built on earlier versions of both the operating system and database. It is important to check that they are both commercially available, as if you encounter hardware issues this could prove an expensive, unbudgeted issue. Should you require any assistance when putting your business case together please do not hesitate to contact one our specialists who will be more than happy to assist you.
  5. 5. Call us on 0845 111 9988 or email us customer.develoment@sage.com Sage (UK) Limited North Park Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 9A A T 0845 111 9988 E customer.develoment@sage.com www.sage.co.uk/erp Registered in England No. 1045967 and with its registered office at North Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 9AA © Sage (UK) Limited 2012 07/12