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5 tips for building a strong business case for digital transformation

Hamish Matheson - Enterprise Healthcare Consultant, Lumary

Hamish Matheson, Enterprise Healthcare Consultant at Lumary, breaks down the key takeaways from Lumary’s webinar on Building a business case for digital transformation.

The disability and aged care sectors continue to look to digital transformation to remain sustainable but don’t always know where to start. The digital transformation process, and even the idea of it, can be quite daunting. For others, it can offer a sense of hope.

To support providers looking to embark on this journey, we created a three part webinar series to tackle the key challenges providers face when going digital. To kick off the series, we looked at the first step in a successful digital transformation: building a business case.

For the first episode, we invited industry experts, including our valued customer, Sunnyfield Disability Services (Sunnyfield), and business consultancy, BTP Australia to explore how providers can approach building a business case that supports the effective implementation of new technology.

So what did we find out?


5 requirements to build a strong business case for digital transformation

There are a number of challenges when it comes to putting a case together for digital transformation: competition for funds and resources, resistance to change, compliance requirements, cost, and fear of risk, to name a few. What are the five considerations for any strong business case to be successful?


1. Approach your digital transformation strategically from the start

You may face several risks if you don’t approach your digital transformation strategically from the start. Making decisions that are not carefully considered could mean investing in multiple unconnected systems or choosing the wrong software, which can lead to much bigger problems down the road.

In order to identify the right tech solution to support you to achieve your organisational goals, one of your first steps should be to consider your core business objectives and ensure the business plan is closely aligned.

For example, business objectives may include greater interoperability, improving organisational efficiency, customer experience that supports person-centred care, or other workforce objectives. To get this right, it’s important to understand the direction of the organisation and what you’re trying to achieve from a performance point of view.

You will also need to understand what the budget looks like to ensure that with an outcomes-based approach you can consider whether these outcomes will be aligned with long-term organisational goals. Don’t be afraid to use trusted technology partners to assist in validating and building out the digital elements of the business plan.


2. Communicate and engage with staff at all levels from across the organisation

One of the fundamental elements to building a strong business case is to have buy-in from across the organisation. Not only should cross-functional teams be involved, but employees at all levels—from administrators and support workers all the way up to your senior leadership team—need to be included.

Not only will this assist in getting a more complete understanding of the efficiencies and functionality required from the new system, it will also create accountability. When the business case is later formed, it’s not just the individual putting the business case forward. It’s signed off by cross-functional executive teams with contributions from front line workers, managers, and everyone in between.


3. Define and measure your return on investment

In order to understand the tangible outcomes and return on investment that innovative software and integration capability can bring, the first step is to quantify your current state. You may consider looking at your efficiency, revenue leakage, employee retention or client satisfaction.

Let’s consider the efficiency measure when performing critical activities. Start by picking your top business challenges, whether it’s customer onboarding, rostering and scheduling, delivering care or cashflow. Within those processes, where are the obstacles in your current system? Drill down and think about how many people are involved and how long it takes to move through your current processes to do them well.

Once you’ve quantified your current state, you will likely need support from consultants and your preferred technology partner to consider what the future state could look like with the right digitally connected care management software. For example, a process or task that currently takes three people 30 hours to complete might take one person less than three minutes in the future state with system automation.


4. Don’t underestimate staff resourcing requirements

Resourcing should be a vital consideration as you’re putting together your business case. During the webinar, on sharing his biggest lesson learnt, Stephen Russell from Sunnyfield recommended, “backfill, backfill, and backfill your resources”. Digital transformation can be a lengthy process and staff assigned to the project must be supported, giving them assurance that their previous responsibilities are being appropriately resourced for the duration of the project. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of training and change management when considering resourcing and budgeting. Change champions play a major role in successfully implementing and achieving system adoption. It’s important to invest the time to train people appropriately and cascade their knowledge throughout the organisation.


5. De-risk the project

Talk to the person most concerned about risk, such as the chair of the Audit Finance and Risk Committee, to understand their greatest concerns. Ultimately, your board or senior management will want to know what your risk profile looks like.

They will want to understand your risk management review, what domains you are playing in, your inherent risk, and what this digital transformation will do to any of those risk domains. If you can de-risk the project and communicate this, you’re almost certain to succeed.


The first step to a successful digital transformation

A business case may be the first step in a successful digital transformation, but it’s arguably the most important. Without a strong business case, your project may never get off the ground to achieve the organisational change necessary to remain sustainable in today’s climate.

I hope you found the summary above useful. You can watch the webinar on-demand to hear the full discussion from the knowledgeable panel.

If you have any questions or thoughts on the webinar discussion, feel free to connect with me or get in touch via hamish.matheson@lumary.com.au. To learn more about how Lumary’s software can support you, you can also connect with the Lumary team today.