What’s an IT Roadmap? A technology roadmap, also known as an IT roadmap, is a visual document that presents and communicates an organization’s plan for technology initiatives. In other words, an IT roadmap will highlight what, when, and why the technology solutions offered will be implemented. Often, roadmaps are designed to fix what’s broken, but they can also be used to uncover opportunities and the potential of your business. In a perfect scenario, it’s used for both.
Your IT roadmap should serve as a flexible planning technique with the aim of supporting a long-range strategy, though it supports both long and short-term goals. As we approach the end of the year, your business plan is likely well underway, if not yet completed. Do you have a technology roadmap that supports all aspects of your business?
In today’s modern workplace, with technology being so ingrained in everyone’s daily lives, it’s important that the CEO of a company is working closely with its CTO, CIO, and other technology leaders to ensure the right technology is installed in their systems and network to empower their employees. Every company has specific business goals that they want to drive throughout the organization so the leaders of that organization need to be asking themselves ‘what kind of technology can support these goals?’ as well as ‘do my employees have the technologies they need to be productive and successful?’
Overall, the technology roadmap needs to be supporting the overall business roadmap. These need to be strategically aligned to ensure business growth and success. Here, we will go into what every technology roadmap needs and how you can get started.
Not sure where to get started with your roadmap? Request a Network Assessment for one of our tech experts comes on-site to do a full analysis of your network and infrastructure so that you can start planning today.
How to Build an IT Roadmap
The Strategy – Like everything else, an IT roadmap starts with a well-designed strategy. You will first have to determine what are your priorities and what you hope to generate. Many IT roadmaps are used to reduce waste, but they can also be utilized to help determine what tools can benefit your teams, how to deliver a better customer experience, or even to streamline overall operations, among others.
Needs, Priorities & Timeline – When creating and implementing one such roadmap, it’s important to remember that you can’t always do it all. A roadmap should not be overwhelming – it should be the opposite. It is necessary for you to get visibility as it relates to the who, how, when, and where of each project. In addition, make sure that you are looking at mitigating risk versus leveraging technology with each project. This can help your prioritize what’s needed versus what’s wanted.
You also need to review your business processes to highlight inefficiencies, identify all technology gaps, as well as functional capabilities. Then prepare an itemized and prioritized checklist of the necessary steps that need to be taken.
Lastly, realistic timelines are crucial in creating a successful IT roadmap. These schedules and deadlines should be for each project and based on the order of priority as well as the duration of each project plus the available resources. One way of relieving some of the stress and workload is by leveraging external resources, such as consultants. They can also contribute with added value and experience, and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls encountered by others.
Balancing Risks – A roadmap wouldn’t be complete without considering the uncertainty of things, especially when it comes to mitigating risk with your technology and infrastructure. Security should always be a priority in today’s world. With a stable infrastructure, you’ll be able to leverage the technology you need and not hinder productivity amongst employees, but increase it. Consider what is a ‘nice-to-have’ versus a ‘must-have’ to help you prioritize and minimize risk. It’s all about balance and making sure you’re communicating these things across all departments. While security is a huge concern for IT, it affects the entire organization.
Cost Measurement – The investment required for a technology should be well thought out and intentional. It’s important to consider not only cost but time and internal resources. It’s advisable that you research the prices available on the market and that you create a realistic cost estimate for each project on your roadmap. In addition to the cost, take a look at how many people you will need to dedicate to each item and the time it will require to complete each project. Don’t forget to also include other costs such as subscription fees, maintenance, support, or new infrastructure costs. In the end, this technology roadmap should help to facilitate investment in different departments better and improve overall planning.
Always Look Ahead – Many business leaders do not take full advantage of the many disruptive technologies that appear on a continually and which can, otherwise, improve their competitive edge. When developing your own IT roadmap, keep an eye out for what type of technology will help you stay competitive over the next three to five years. Look for technology that’s flexible and scalable enough to fit in with your long-term needs.
There are numerous benefits in designing your own IT roadmap. It will help you keep moving forward without losing sight of the end goal. Make sure you’re having these technology conversations with not only IT leaders but C-Level executives as well. When done right, technology should support the entire organization and not just the IT department.
If you want to learn more about implementing your plan, contact us for consulting today.