What to Include in a Business Case for New Technology

Technology business case concept with speech bubble saying business case resting on keyboard

Quick Overview

Sometimes you need put your best foot forward to convince stakeholders that a new piece of technology is needed. This is where a business case can really help, and should include:

  1. Potential Risks
  2. Project Ownership
  3. Security and Safety Information

We asked our panel of experts for their advice for what to include in a business case for new technology.

16 Things to Include in a Successful Business Case

Our panel of experts share the top 16 things you should include in a business case, to get stakeholders on board to invest in new technology:

1. Potential Risks

Andrea Meyer at Centrical
Andrea Meyer

When seeking buy-in to invest in new technology, there are basic but critical elements to incorporate into a business case, including:

  • A problem statement describing the challenge(s) that the technology will solve, and the potential consequences of inaction.
  • Any potential risks, such as technical, financial, or organizational.
  • An implementation plan, including a timeline, required resources, and a training plan.
  • A summary of the key points and a final recommendation statement.

You might also want to include deeper research, such as a competitive, SWOT, and/or market analysis.

Whatever you decide to include, ensure the business case is clear, concise, and well written for the greatest chance of investment.

Contributed by: Andrea Meyer at Centrical

2. Project Ownership

Grace Dawson at Odigo
Grace Dawson

It’s not just the goal, it’s how you get there. Demonstrating an understanding of the process and potential challenges is crucial when building a case for new technology.

Will deployment align around upcoming business strategy or other development projects? Are there any in-house expertise shortages which, if planned for, will accelerate and improve ROI?

A realistic approach and risk-mitigation measures will instil much more confidence than an idealistic list of benefits.

Include project ownership, how the technology will be maintained/supervised and how agent and customer experiences will be preserved during any transition.

Contributed by: Grace Dawson at Odigo

3. Security and Safety Information

Andy Traba at NICE
Andy Traba

New technologies available today offer enhanced levels of security and safety. This is an especially important point for high security-conscious organizations and government agencies looking to make a transition from on-premise to cloud technology.

This should be a major point of a business case for new technology. Executives need to know the vast advancements that have been made in cloud technology, breaking down data silos and improving workflows, and why these new technologies are the only viable option going into the future.

New AI technologies are also solving staffing issues, filling in staffing gaps and empowering employees to do more.

This is a powerful point for contact centre leaders to include in a business case. Investing in AI has ripple effects across CX operations, greatly improving efficiency and leading to better outcomes.

This shields organizations from ongoing global labour issues, allowing them to augment their workforce and not have to stress about hiring more employees.

Contributed by: Andy Traba at NICE

4. The Limitations of the Technology

Investing in technology needs to bring customer, agent and business benefits, as well as fit in with existing technology and long-term plans.

There are many synergistic tech elements – CRM, CCaaS, UCaaS, WFM and QM – so anything being proposed needs to be properly integrated, for the sake of customer experiences and omnichannel strategies, and to minimize agent frustrations.

In large complex organizations, no single solution will do everything, or at least do it well. This means that by showing an understanding of the limitations of your proposed technology, you can demonstrate how well it will work as a piece of the larger puzzle.

Contributed by: Grace Dawson at Odigo

5. Value for Money

Simon Kettle at Five9
Simon Kettle

Every customer interaction is an opportunity for your business to deepen customer loyalty. In thinking about the metrics for your business case, evaluate modern technologies on their ability to increase customer engagement through simpler, faster and more proactive interactions.

These outcomes need to be balanced with cost efficiency, so ensure that your business case represents the best value for money in terms of CCaaS licensing, professional services, and support.

Contact centres are a rich source of data, gold dust for informing data-driven design. By leveraging this insight, you can optimize customer service journeys – utilizing AI, IVA, chatbots and agent assist technologies – and so increase the efficiency and productivity of your customer service agents.

Contributed by: Simon Kettle at Five9

6. Clearly Defined Goals of the New Technology

Frank Sherlock at CallMiner
Frank Sherlock

It’s not always easy to convince different areas of the business on new technology requirements. While establishing a project’s mission can be ambitious, starting with a specific charter can make supporting technology solutions more digestible and tangible.

One way of making this happen is by focusing on a single area for improvement that would be most beneficial to your organization to start, and how this new technology could help you achieve your objectives.

This could include diving a layer deeper into your current performance stats, such as those related to contact centre silence time, and how the technology is going to support your metric goals.

It’s also important to include feedback from the wider business – such as any overlap that might exist with another department like marketing – and educate agents on potential new technologies, which will in turn help with internal buy-in as well as increasing long-term adoption and reducing fear of change.

Contributed by: Frank Sherlock at CallMiner

7. Time and Effort Savings

Technology can have a positive impact on customer experience, employee satisfaction, and business efficiency, so make sure you use all relevant sources of return on investment in your business case.

When considering time and effort savings from technology, remember to include the benefits of automation, the time-savings of AI, and the integration of disparate systems that avoids wasteful and error-prone manual data entry.

Technology that reduces stress and empowers employees will have positive consequences for sickness levels, absenteeism, schedule adherence and turnover, all of which have financial implications.

Technology that enables a better customer experience will reduce customer churn; if you can reduce abandonment rates, you’ll see a corresponding increase in revenue; and if you’re involved with debt collection, technology that enables higher connect rates and schedules the right agents will offer strong payback.

Contributed by: Chris Dealy at injixo

8. Details of Existing Challenges

Colin Mann at Enghouse
Colin Mann

Begin by identifying existing challenges so that you can outline objectives for a new solution, whether it’s enhancing customer experience or improving operational efficiency.

The success of the business case hinges on providing a detailed description of how the proposed technology addresses the identified issues and aligns with the defined objectives.

You will need to quantify the expected benefits and ROI along with a breakdown of the costs involved. A successful proposal should include an implementation plan highlighting potential risks and mitigation strategies.

Make sure you have explored alternative solutions and aligned the plan to stakeholder interests for widespread support.

Contributed by: Colin Mann at Enghouse Interactive

9. Relevant Metrics

Matthew Yates at MaxContact
Matthew Yates

Start with a clear problem or opportunity statement, backed up with relevant metrics. From there, dive into a detailed description of the solution, highlighting the benefits and conducting an ROI analysis.

Thoughtful decision-making is demonstrated through an evaluation of alternatives, while a breakdown of costs helps us understand the required investment.

To set the context, the executive summary and market analysis offer a concise snapshot. Ensure the problem is well quantified and explain how technology directly tackles it. The positive impact is measured through benefits and ROI analysis.

For a comprehensive proposal, we map out the implementation plan with timelines and resource allocation. Identifying and addressing potential risks is crucial. Lastly, a conclusion will neatly sum up key points and lead to a clear recommendation.

To enhance communication, use visuals to keep everything concise and easily digestible.

Contributed by: Matthew Yates at MaxContact

10. ROI Analysis and Case Studies

Chris Dealy at injixo
Chris Dealy

To convince leadership to spend money, you’ve got to provide a return on investment (ROI) analysis that expresses the benefits in monetary terms. Unless the benefits outweigh the costs, you can’t justify the spending.

The single largest cost in every contact centre is the salary bill. If you can provide evidence that the technology has the potential to reduce that, you’ve got the makings of a strong business case.

That could be achieved by automation – AI and chatbots, for example. It could be achieved by more accurate forecasting and more efficient scheduling, so you avoid periods of overstaffing.

It could also be achieved by better analytics, so you can manage shrinkage better. It’s a good idea to include the results from case studies as evidence of the improvements that you’re likely to achieve.

Contributed by: Chris Dealy at injixo

11. Clear Reasons Why the New Technology Is Needed

There are multiple reasons for new technology – or more modern technology – that you can feature in your business case, including:

Lagging Behind

Check to see if you are getting what you expect from your existing contact centre solution. It may well be that when you went with your existing solution in the past it did everything you needed, but times have moved on and now you’re lagging in one or more areas.

This applies more to on-premise solutions than cloud solutions, because a cloud solution should be more regularly updated, but it may depend on what the agreement was.

Staff Churn

Now, we know that contact centres always experience churn, but is the data showing that there’s higher than normal churn? If so, is that perhaps down to staff not enjoying the tools they are using, or machines crashing, unable to handle what is being asked of them?

Lisa Orford at 8x8
Lisa Orford

Changing Customer Demands

Are you able to engage with customers in the channels and areas that they are expecting? If not, then you may be losing out on dealing with issues or being helpful.

Better Data

I’ve yet to see an organization that said it wanted less data about staff and customers. However, this also ties into larger ideas around digital transformation.

There’s a lot of great data housed within contact centres, data that could benefit so many parts of a business, but all too often it is siloed away.

Modern technology and business practices can bring that data in, helping to join up the front office and back office, with all parts of the business reaping the benefits.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

It may sound counterintuitive, but doing nothing can be more expensive than bringing in new technology.

Studies have shown that staff can lose hundreds of working hours per year when trying to eke out the last operational benefits from older, legacy tools compared to more modern ways of operating.

That has a cost not only financially, but also in terms of how employees feel and how the customer experience is delivered.

Contributed by: Lisa Orford at 8×8

12. An Executive Summary

An executive summary of everything that has been considered, calculated and planned for highlights the competence of a business plan – without demanding prolonged attention or in-depth understanding.

It also provides a good access point for those who want more specific details to investigate the plan more thoroughly.

Contributed by: Grace Dawson at Odigo

13. The Benefits of the Technology

EJ Cay at Genesys
EJ Cay

Embracing advanced technology can transform the customer experience, and the enhanced customer experience increases loyalty and retention and the improved employee experience results in a productive and satisfied workforce.

Depending on the technology, you can also save time on outbound calls, leading to an increase in revenue generation and operational efficiency, contributing to overall business growth – all of which should be mentioned in a business case for new technology.

Also mention if the technology has fewer integration requirements, fewer vendors, and less burden on personnel to further decrease ownership costs.

Businesses can thereby focus more resources on core operations and strategic initiatives. Thus, new technology delivers multifaceted benefits, making a compelling case for its adoption in contact centres.

Contributed by: EJ Cay at Genesys

14. An Elevator Pitch Tailored to the Reader

Putting together a successful business case starts with gaining consensus among all key stakeholders. To achieve this, think about creating an elevator pitch that is tailored to each individual member of the executive team:

  • For CEOs – CX is paramount so demonstrate how new technology will turn your contact centre into a valuable profit centre that powers sales or generates customer-centric BI to drive smart, strategic business decisions
  • For CFOs – show how the latest data-driven solutions can support corporate right-sizing now, and in the future
  • For CIOs – explain how they could harness customer-centric contact centre intelligence to gain greater control and future-proof security processes
  • For CMOs – allow them to see how real-time VoC information can help shape competitive, high-impact marketing programmes
  • HR leads – what contact centre tools will empower and engage staff so they can attract and retain the best talent?

Make sure elevator pitches encompass the top challenges, obstacles and unrealized opportunities for each audience.

15. The Real-Life Advantages of New Technology

When stakeholder expectations are high, aim to demonstrate the real-life advantages of new technology.

The best solutions benefit customers and agents and extend to other parts of the business. They increase operational efficiencies, save costs, reduce customer effort and boost employee engagement. They even expand brand and marketing reach to drive revenues and support organizational growth.

Include real-life successes to strengthen your business plan. For example, at a time when attracting and retaining the best talent is critical, follow the lead of online car retailer Cazoo. After introducing new technology, they reduced attrition levels by 85% (from 14% to 2%) in just two quarters.

Meanwhile, reinforce the proven benefits of a cloud-first approach. Calabrio’s own research reveals that 75% of contact centres say the cloud enables more strategic and business-oriented operations; 70% believe it enhances analytics insights for customer and employee data, while 50% of cloud-powered contact centres are improving their utilization of artificial intelligence (AI).

16. A Shortlist of Preferred Suppliers

Tripti Tapuriah-Modi at Calabrio
Tripti Tapuriah-Modi

Show initiative by coming up with a shortlist of preferred suppliers. To do this, ask to speak with current users to gain real-world insights.

During each reference call, evaluate:

Relationship and Background

How long have they used the solution? What were their top challenges and name the 3 reasons for choosing this particular vendor?

Implementation and Onboarding

How long did it take to transition to the new technology and how did the vendor ensure ‘business as usual’? Was the project completed on time and on budget?

Use Cases and Integration

What systems did the technology have to integrate with? Is it easy to scale and what are their favourite features?

Results and Measurement

If they had to go through the process again, would they still use the same vendor? What metrics do they use to measure the success of the implementation, and could anything be improved?

Ask the right questions and then invest wisely.

Contributed by: Tripti Tapuriah-Modi at Calabrio

For more great insights and advice from our panel of experts, read these articles next:

Author: Robyn Coppell
Reviewed by: Megan Jones

Published On: 21st Aug 2023 - Last modified: 1st Jul 2024
Read more about - Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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