Why are we writing a business case?

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Why is digital preservation important to your organization, department, and collection? The question of why focuses on the strategic vision, and the most significant or top-line benefits.

Why should digital preservation be made a priority?

  • Take a look at how digital preservation supports your organiation's mission and how it aligns with your strategy.
  • What value can be dervied for the community that is served by the organisation. Some of this will be immediate (e.g. a particular user or project), some of this is opportunity for the long-term (e.g. building research collections for the future).
  • Benefits will be different for different stakeholders
    • Individual user - for their reuse now and in the future, to support their research/educational/commercial objectives, to make it easier to discover
    • Community - to support new areas of activity, eg research programmes or policy development
    • Organisation - to fulfil mission, serve the commnunity, become more efficient, increase reputation, opportunities for collaboration, investment and further funding
  • Think about about addressing risk (something is under threat) or exploiting opportunity (things could be better).

Why will digital preservation make the collections easier to access and re-use?

  • Properly executed, digital preservation should make it easier to give the right information to the right people quickly and in a format they can use. Moreover having a thoughtful preservation plan means you can confidently begin to delete content that is needlessly duplicated resulting storage cost savings.

What are the expectations of your organisation and your users in relation to your management of the collections?

  • Part of your business case may be that investment in digital preservation may be essential to maintaining your standard of service to end users. It may also be a part of changing user expectation e.g. the ability to find and reuse research data.
  • Are there new policies e.g. in relation to open data being developed and adopted in your orgainsation?
  • Do you need to plan for, invest in, grow, or develop areas in your organization to mitigate risks in relation to:
    • Collections? (information loss, obsolescence, ...)
    • Department? (inability to fulfil strategic objectives. IT)
    • Organisation? (reputational damage, loss of income generating capacity with lack of access to assets)
    • Users? (loss of access to collections)
    • Depositors? (lack of confidence in repository)

Further information:

  • Strategy documents (collections development policies, organisational/departmental strategies, mission statements)
  • Benefits examples and methodologies
  • Risk assessment methodologies
  • Preservation case studies - horror stories and success stories