Building a business case for a new intranet? Here are 6 things you need to include

You’ve done your research, identified your current challenges, compiled your project team, and chosen your vendor. Now it’s time to write your business case.

Whilst this might seem like a daunting prospect, by doing the groundwork up front, it should be plain sailing from here on.

And to make it even easier, we’ve compiled these six things you need to include to make a compelling case:

1. Executive summary

Less in more. It’s a cliché but like most clichés, there’s an element of truth. Provide an overview of your business case to give decision-makers a flavour of what to expect. But keep it short and to the point.

2. The opportunity

This section should cover what you want your intranet to do. We recommend breaking this down into the following four categories:

(A) Communication

+ Provide a single place to find content, alongside other digital and physical channels. This will reduce the time taken to distribute and find the information. You’ll also be able to track, then use, insights to improve engagement.

+ Empower content owners to create and manage their content without the need for logging calls. This will reduce the need for IT support and increase the autonomy of content owners.

+ Act as a communication hub, bringing content to where your employees are – within Teams, on mobile, or on screens.

(B) Productivity

+ Increase productivity by encouraging knowledge sharing and finding expertise. This will reduce duplication of effort.

+ Connect employees to content faster with targeting and personalisation, with a faster, better, more integrated search.

(C) Employee equity, inclusion, and collaboration

+ Promote available collaboration areas and connect employees to knowledge, teams, projects etc. Information should be easy for all employees to access.

+Link to appropriate apps for scenarios, which will help your organisation to make the most of M365 licences, but also reduce shadow IT.

(D) Culture and engagement 

+ Make culture and community-building easier by helping employees to connect with colleagues.

+ Act as a digital twin for the physical workplace.

3. The challenges

The next step is to compile a table comparing your current platform (if you have one) with the intranet you want to implement, using the research you’ve done earlier.

This might include a column outlining the problem with your existing solution, the intranet feature you want to replace it with, followed by the problem it will solve.

We recommend including no more than ten, so the benefits are clear and concise.

Once you’ve done that, you can look at your departmental challenges. For each department, outline its key challenges and how your new intranet will help to solve them.

This focus on challenges and solutions will really help you to emphasise how your organisation stands to benefit from the proposed new intranet.

4. Cost/benefit analysis

Linking your current pain points to the quantifiable outcomes you hope to achieve with your new intranet is a key part of building your business case.

KPIs, such as hours saved and internal email traffic reduced, are compelling. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Try adding in some real-life stories from your research to bring colour to your case.


A cost benefit analysis is essentially a forecast that will help you tell a story in a credible way. Having a set of assumptions that you can validate against other data points really helps to support your business case.

5. What’s in and out of scope

You’ll need to get a reasonable handle on a rough budget to identify what’s in and out of scope. So, why not create an Excel spreadsheet with internal and external costs upfront.

Internal costs might include staff costs for implementation, event costs for launch, and maintenance costs once the intranet is up and running.

For external costs, you’ll need to consider licensing fees, professional services costs if you need outside help for things like planning, training or change management.

Also, try to identify any potential tangible savings, such as reduced licensing fees for overlapping software or productivity savings relating to efficiencies generated by your new intranet.

Linking your intranet to positive business outcomes can only serve to strengthen your case.

6. Risks

Any new technology comes with risks and it’s important to show that you’ve considered what those risks might be and how to mitigate them.

Risks can be split into two categories.

Implementation risks: include delays due to brief creep or technology issues.

Outcome risks: include low engagement once the intranet is launched or unexpected costs relating to the management of the platform.

Once you’ve completed these six elements of your business case, you should be well on your way to convincing the C-suite to give the project the green light.

For more detailed help on writing your business case, plus access additional resources, such as how to analyse your cost/benefits, download our free eBook: