We live in an incredible time in history. The advancement of technology is on an exponential curve and it was not much more than 10 years ago that things were very different; computers were slower, smart phones were just hitting the market, and social media barely existed! Technology was a part of business strategy for large enterprise and small and medium businesses needed to align budgets with their IT spend, but gaining a competitive advantage through technology for small companies was only for cutting edge new start-ups and development houses. Today, even your plumber needs a technology strategy.
Everybody needs to have a plan for how their IT environment can expand or direct their resources to best benefit the organization as a whole. For that, you need to know how to build a technology roadmap.
What Is A Technology Roadmap?
A technology roadmap is a plan for the future of your information technology (IT) infrastructure. Basically, it consists of a timeline with milestones, projects, and tasks that align with your business needs.
Before you can plan the future, you need to create a baseline and take a detailed inventory of what you have today. How old are your computers? What licenses do you have? Are your servers still under warranty? How many network ports do you have available on your switches? Are you utilizing the cloud? And what about Back-up and firewalls! PS. Nobody really cares about backup, its recovery we all want. It’s just like using a drill, nobody really wants a drill what they want is a hole. What about system or application dependencies? We can help you with all of this.
Roadmaps can be structured in any set of intervals like 12, 18, or 24 months. There is no set length for a roadmap but 18 months seems to be a good length for most business needs. Every roadmap can, should, and will look different and takes your specific business needs into consideration. It’s like buying a suit off the rack. No matter how standard you are you need to take it to the tailor to make it fit you perfectly.
The goal of this exercise is to draw a stark contrast between where you are and where you hope to be. From there, the business needs to identify where the environment is lacking and chart steps on how to move from point A to point B.
Communication is critical
Regular communication is key to having a successful technology strategy. We make sure we are talking to our customers on a regular basis (minimum once a month) so we can adjust the technology roadmap according to the ever changing demands on day to day business. Your business is fluid and your roadmap needs to be as well. Maybe you won a large new contract and need to double your employee base, or you have seasonality in your business cycle. We make sure your technology roadmap is rightsized for your business.
This sounds expensive, and it can be but we live in a world that requires you to have IT infrastructure. By planning you can properly budget for your technology spend and create some predictability in your IT spend. Technology assists your employees in getting their job done in a timely and efficient manner. We have all had that old computer that takes 5 minutes to open and crashes on a regular basis. We haven’t even touched on security. A technology roadmap will help ensure you have the right security in place and avoid expensive ransomware or viruses that kill performance. View technology as an enabler, with the right technology you can gain a competitive advantage which can actually provide a return on your investment.
Moving Forward With a Roadmap
With an understanding of what a roadmap is and why a business should devote time to developing one, the next step is to take action and work with your IT provider to help draft your roadmap. The final result should be a realistic, strategic roadmap that yields the IT environment that your business needs.
We would welcome the opportunity to work with you and helping you develop your Information Technology Roadmap.