Why are we writing a business case?

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  • Why is digital preservation important to you organization, department, and collection?
  • Why should I make digital preservation a priority?
  • What is the importance of the assets to the institution?
NB you need to tailor the answers according to the audience (Know your audience) ......

When writing the business case consider the audience and appropriate tone and level while writing, you may need to write two versions (high-level and an implementer case in order to sell the activities)

  • What are the benefits of digital preservation in relation to:
    • Are you or your department responsible for long-term or short-term collection retention? (secure and accessible)
if yes, understand the scope of collection and parameters
if no, review your collection policy to ensure you haven't missed anything.
    • Is your department responsible for digital preservation or some aspect of digital collection care? (fulfilling strategic objectives)
if yes, proceed with writing the business case
if no, find out who in your organization needs to be consulted in writing the case.
    • Will digital preservation fulfill the organisation's mission? (ability to fulfil organisational mission, effective exploitation of assets - maximising their use)
    • Will digital preservation enhance the user experience, in the present and future? (i.e. access to collections and re-use)
    • Are you planning to develop and market yourself as a trusted repository?(trust in repository)
understand your current environment, infrastructure and stakeholders.  partner with your IT staff (internal or external supplier).
ensure that people understand what you are trying to achieve at an early stage.

  • What are the risks in your organization in relation to:
    • Collections? (information loss)
    • Department? (inability to fulfil strategic objectives)
    • 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)

  • Why should I worry about data loss?
  • Why should I worry about access?
  • Why can't I leave it to our IT people?
  • What are your organisation's business objectives?
  • How mature (in DP terms) is organisation?
  • What scale is the organisation aspiring to?

Further information:

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