In my blog post last month, I wrote about why digital-workplace technology has become a mandate in today\u2019s hyper-mobile world. This month, I explore basics of building a strategy and a business case so you can get budget and make your digital workplace a reality.\nThe other day, I heard a great story about how a colleague of mine got board approval to hire more than two dozen new staff members\u2014and the whole negotiation took less than an hour. He used digital-workplace technology to pull a remote team member into a board meeting on the fly and run ROI scenarios in real time. Without being able to see the specific figures, the decision would have taken weeks and cost millions in potential revenue.\n+ Also on Network World:\u00a0Why you need a digital workplace +\nThe lesson here is that a sound business case\u2014augmented by solid data\u2014is the best way to persuade. How can you establish a convincing business case for a digital workplace so you can get the budget and go-ahead?\nStep 1: Define the problem, quantify the impact\nA digital workplace can solve a lot of problems. But unless you can demonstrate the financial impact\u2014both in terms of lost revenue from the problem, as well as the ROI for the solution\u2014it may be difficult to gain management\u2019s ear. So, the first step is to make a list of the concrete benefits a digital workplace can provide.\nThe following are examples:\n\nProductivity of remote workers\/teams. Studies show that most companies suffer from an epidemic of employee disengagement, which directly translates into lost productivity. In fact, according to Gallup, U.S. employers lose a staggering $450 billion to $550 billion every year due to this phenomenon. The problem can be exaggerated in companies that have multiple offices, telecommuters and global teams, since remote workers must rely on technology to connect them to their in-office counterparts. A digital workplace, which enables more effective collaboration amongst disparate workers, can greatly boost both engagement and productivity, preventing this lost revenue.\nScalable onboarding. Large enterprises spend thousands of dollars a year onboarding new employees. Interactive, multimedia digital-workplace technology can simplify and scale the onboarding process by making it repeatable and enabling effective remote training.\nAccelerating product development. Digital-workplace technology is one of the best ways to enable Agile development among disparate team members. Agile development allows companies to bring products to market more quickly and enables more effective collaboration.\n\nExamples like those demonstrate a straight line to ROI, which makes for a very convincing business case.\nStep 2: Enlist support\nGaining management approval for a large expenditure will always be easier if more than one department can benefit from the investment. What\u2019s more, if you involve multiple departments in the selection of a digital-workplace product, they\u2019re more likely to get excited about the new technology and help drive adoption.\nThe following departments are most likely to benefit from a digital workplace:\n\nSales. Global companies, as well as those that have multiple offices, are likely to employ salespeople in locations beyond central headquarters. A digital workplace is the perfect way to hold meetings and keep everyone in sync. What\u2019s more, a digital workplace allows for collaborative meetings with prospects and customers.\nEngineering\/development. Developers and IT workers can use a digital workplace to collaborate on architecture, solve problems and hold daily or weekly scrum sessions.\nFinance.\u00a0This department often relies on numbers from multiple data sources, such as Salesforce and accounting software. Digital-workplace technology can allow finance teams to view data from all of these places simultaneously, making it easier to visualize the \u201cbig picture.\u201d\nHuman resources. As in the onboarding example I outlined earlier, HR can be a great ally as you build out your business case.\n\nStep 3: Create a rollout strategy\nDriving the adoption of new technology is no mean feat. Being able to articulate your plan for piloting and rolling out digital-workplace technology might be the linchpin for garnering approval and budget.\nAs a first step here, you should think about researching and writing up a set of best practices, which you can share with employees. Next, might be the creation of a training plan. If you choose the right vendor for your digital-workplace technology, they will be able to help you with this. And if you\u2019ve chosen the right platform, you should be able to leverage the solution itself when developing your training plan.\nLastly, remember that to encourage adoption of a collaboration platform, you\u2019ll need to evolve your corporate culture, as well. Are people siloed in your organization? Does everyone sit in cubes with high walls, interacting only in weekly meetings? Are you involving your remote employees in decisions and brainstorms? These are good areas to address.\nMoving forward\nA digital workplace is a worthy investment, but management might not immediately recognize it as such. Having a sound strategy to qualify (and quantify) the purchase will help your executive team understand how it can help accelerate innovation, build teamwork and boost revenue.