5 Steps to Creating your IT Roadmap
Does your organization have an IT roadmap in place? Building an IT roadmap into your strategic plan helps support long-term planning and short-term goals by aligning specific technology solutions to help meet those objectives. It’s an opportunity to look at needs in your organization and how software and technology can help support that. With a defined plan in place, you can move forward with purpose and make investments in technology that align with your needs and priorities to avoid making purchasing decisions in haste.
Getting started on your IT Roadmap:
Form your committee
When forming your IT Roadmap committee, consider including individuals from key departments within your organization. Having representation from other groups will not only bring insight to the strategic priorities of your roadmap but will also aid in effective communication of the plan to other groups so no one feels left in the dark.
Define your objectives
Every plan needs an objective. Work with your team to outline what is important to you and the organization over the next 1-5 years. Is it creating a better customer service model? Increasing workplace efficiencies? First, define what you want to achieve, you can then evaluate how technology will help support you. Identify any gaps in your existing systems and the functionality of your processes.
Consider what will keep you competitive for the long haul. Technology that will adapt with you, is flexible and scalable will help you get the most out of your investment. In a sector where technology is always changing, organizations and the way we do business is changing with it. Everyone now has the ability to be connected through multiple platforms and from anywhere in the world. Clients expect more from you and have come to rely on a seamless and consistent experience. Having the right tools in place to meet these long-term needs will help you stay ahead. This will help you avoid the scramble of keeping up and implementing changes at the last hour.
With a plan in place and projections for projects coming down the pipe, you have a good basis to start making cost estimates. The roadmap gives you enough time to research any major technology initiatives you will need to implement. Your analysis should be a realistic cost estimate and include as many details as possible. Allow for additional costs such as maintenance, subscription and support fees to be included in your plan so you aren’t faced with any surprises when it comes time for budget prep and rolling out your new initiatives.
It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and feel ambitious to tackle everything at once. However, there’s a lot that we don’t plan for in order to get our project off the ground. In your roadmap, include a realistic schedule and timeline of key milestones, duration for each phase and allocation of proper resources. Plan around other projects or trends within your industry or business that may interfere or limit your ability to execute to specific timelines. Accounting for these in your roadmap will keep you, and all your other projects on track.
Your IT Roadmap will evolve over time as your business changes and grows. This living document is a framework to provide guidance and direction. Don’t worry if you need to make changes or reconsider certain items within it depending on new opportunities or even challenges that may come up. Your roadmap is a tool to facilitate discussion, improve planning for projects and resources and keep leadership aligned on strategic technology priorities.
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