Given the growing impact of technology on today’s business operations and processes, IT leadership must have a clear path that is closely aligned with the organization’s long-term strategic goals. While developing this IT roadmap has never been more important, it’s often a challenge for IT teams to step out of the day-to-day mandates and look at IT from a more revenue-generating, business-impacting perspective.
To effectively support today’s business strategies, IT leaders must embrace new approaches to a strategic IT roadmap that are more flexible and business-driven. More importantly, these roadmaps are no longer a ‘set it and forget it’s document – instead, you must revisit and revise them regularly to ensure they are keeping pace with ever-changing business initiatives.
Let’s look at some of today’s emerging best practices for crafting an effective IT roadmap for your organization.
Your IT roadmap must be firmly planted in the overall strategic plan of the business – period. For example, if your organization is looking to invest resources into digital transformation, the IT team needs to determine what effect that will have on existing infrastructure, process, technology services, and business workflow applications. The financial requirements and list of technologies to implement are no longer enough. Instead, IT teams must conduct a thorough assessment of the current technology ecosystem and determine what changes, both technical and procedural, are required to achieve the organization’s business goals.
We’ve all experienced ‘paralysis by analysis’ in some form or another within our organization. IT roadmaps and planning are not immune to this bottleneck, and spending too much time developing a plan can be disastrous. While there isn’t a magic timeframe that works for every business, Gartner recommends a swift, focused roadmap plan that prevents scope creep, loss of focus, or diminished relevance.
IT plans are more than just technologies. They include detailed information on the people, partners, and processes required to achieve goals. Additionally, your plan needs to consider financial investments, timeframes, risks, and any other issues that could harm the plan’s effectiveness. For many organizations, limited resources in one area or another can be a challenge. The key is not to let these limitations delay the plan. Instead, look to outside resources that may be able to help fill a specific gap in the roadmap.
The best IT roadmaps include success metrics that serve as mile markers along the way. Rather than focusing on previous outputs IT may have used in the past, today’s IT metrics are technology-driven must focus on actual business outcomes. Outcome-based KPIs are essential and must be measured and reported monthly, although some may require being tracked more frequently. Without these measurable goals along the way, your IT roadmap runs the risk of becoming a set of charts and plans that get filed away never to be executed properly.
Developing and executing a successful IT roadmap is essential for growing your business. In some cases, organizations fail to move forward on strategic technology initiatives due to a lack of critical resources. Leveraging an organization like CTG that can help your IT leaders develop a plan, source vendors, and implement new technologies is a great way to ensure your business remains competitive in today’s technology-driven world. Using a technology adviser can also give you keen insights into best practices that will provide a successful, practical IT roadmap that helps your organization achieve business objectives quickly and efficiently. Let CTG help you evaluate your current technology landscape and develop an IT roadmap for 2020.