Business Growth is really the heart of your business case. If you can identify how an Information Management strategy will enable your company’s growth, then your chances of success go way up!
This topic may be a little more difficult to document, but most executives will not argue with you if you can validate your premises.
Start by looking at existing strategic initiatives, then meet with the business areas responsible for those results and see if issues with the current corporate data could prevent them from achieving their goals.
Let’s look at the types of growth enablers you might consider:
• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Customer Service / Experience
• Customer Targeting
• Customer Coverage
• Forecasting / Planning / Modeling / Reporting
• Product / Service Offering
• Channel Strategies
• International Strategies
Questions you might ask your internal partners are: “Could you be more effective at getting your marketing materials to the right person?” “Could you improve targeting or forecasting through improved reporting, modeling or planning efforts?” “Could you improve the customer coverage model if we could more effectively identify and target customers?” “Are we failing the customer because processes are operating with bad data?” “Are there channel conflicts due to multiple or uncontrolled data sources?” “If you had better business intelligence, would you have a better chance of bringing the right product or service to market?”
If you get “yes” answers, then determine the benefits and the order of magnitude if you had a solution. Types of solutions could be through solving problems with data quality, hierarchy management, data integration, and resolving data source conflicts (through a Single Source of Truth), etc.
By helping business leaders frame their problems in terms of how an Information Management strategy could help them, then you’ve got the beginnings of a strong business case.
Your next step is to define the business requirements in more detail, and have your internal business partner(s) help you quantify the impact of solving their problems.
Stay tuned for Part 4, where Maureen Butler covers how to get organizational alignment for your business plan.