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Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies by Robert F. Williams, Robert F. Smallwood

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CHAPTER 20

Building the Business Case to Justify an ERM Program

Implementing a successful electronic records management (ERM) program to meet information governance (IG) demands requires all the essentials of any successful project, from setting program objectives and building the business case, to securing executive sponsorship in the early stages, to formal analysis and design of the ERM system, testing, implementation, and user training.

Determine What Will Fly in Your Organization

The requirements for a business case to justify a project vary by organization, culture, and management style. Some require a strict internal rate of return (IRR), hurdle rate, or return on investment (ROI) to be calculated before moving forward. Others require justification of hard costs, then look at these alongside the intangible, soft benefits of the automation to complete the justification. Yet other organizations understand the inherent efficiencies of automation and their impact on labor costs, especially with the added advantages of security and risk reduction, and base a management decision on intuition or gut feel. Finally, there are organizations that base the decision on a purely budgetary or tax basis; that is, they have determined the capital budget and which projects to compete for using those allocated funds.

There are clear tangible and intangible benefits to implementing ERM, but fears of compliance violations, spiraling e–discovery costs, or lost and misfiled records may be sufficient ...

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