There is absolutely no doubt that technology has changed the world of business. Apps, programs, computers, tablets, mobile devices, network systems, the internet – they all combine to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and improve customer experience.
There’s a lot of technology out there. It’s easy to become confused and overwhelmed when it comes to tech. But that’s exactly why a technology roadmap is helpful.
It’s a clearly defined plan for implementing, maintaining, and upgrading your tech solutions, all for the success of your business.
Here’s how to develop an IT Roadmap of your very own.
Consider Your Goals
First, think about the goals you have for your company – both long-term and short-term.
You should have specific, measurable targets you hope to achieve over time. Consider these goals from several viewpoints.
- What are the end goals for the company?
- What are your customers requesting, or what could otherwise make the customer experience better?
- Furthermore, what requests do you hear most often from employees?
You can help identify the most important goals by looking at the company’s current structure from multiple perspectives.
Related: Simplify Your Complex IT Projects
Find Your Problem Areas
Every organization has weak spots within its processes and systems. You should find them. Look over your staff and their day-to-day tasks. Consider the ways your customers interact with the company and consider their frustrations. Think about your processes and try to pinpoint bottlenecks.
Once you identify an area that could use improvement, make a list, and prioritize each item. If the list is extensive, you may want to break it down by department, or by other criteria.
This step will take a bit of brainstorming, but it’s absolutely crucial to figuring out what comes first.
Evaluate Your Options
Next, use the list you made in step two to find and evaluate solutions.
Consider the type of technology that might help streamline each process or solve each problem. Each problem may have multiple tech solutions. In fact, your list may include everything from apps to mobile devices and more, just for solving one problem. Other weak points may have much simpler, quicker solutions.
Once you have the possible solutions listed, you can spend a bit more time evaluating each item. By the end of this step, you should have a final list of solutions you would like to implement in the near-to-distant future.
Consider the Costs
At this point, you should consider the costs of each tech solution. Make sure you include upfront costs, as well as ongoing maintenance, and don’t forget the value of time – both yours and your employees’. For example, if you will need hours and hours of manpower to implement a new technology, that may be a bigger consideration than the upfront cost.
Also, companies sometimes fail to include training in their technology budget. This is a huge mistake because training can take a significant amount of time and money, but it’s a crucial step in the process. Without proper training, your employees could expose your company to a myriad of security threats.
Develop a Timeline
Using the information you gathered so far, it’s time to develop a timeline for your solutions. This should include projected completion dates as well as the milestones along the way.
As you develop your timeline, remember to include certain factors and to stay realistic. Factors such as employee availability, the ebb and flow of workloads, financial constraints, training costs, and other projects are all things to consider.
Oftentimes, companies choose to hire a third-party IT consultant to help manage these factors and keep the project on track.
Most aspects of business require flexibility, and technology is certainly no exception. In fact, because technology changes so quickly, you will need to stay open-minded to changes when it comes to your roadmap.
Still, a technology roadmap is the best way to stay organized and on target when it comes to your technology goals. Using the steps outlined above, you can create a working roadmap that helps you reach your goals in the most efficient way possible.
Or, you can take a shortcut.
Get Help From the Experts
A technology roadmapping expert can do all of the above for you, saving you time by professionally auditing your organization’s technology. That’s what we do, and we’d love to help your business too.
We go above and beyond by custom-crafting your IT Roadmap to meet your specific goals. After all, technology isn’t there to just look pretty – it should always propel your organization to success. Interested in learning more about how we can help you? Reach out and have a chat with us today.