IT is the engine room powering business functions and driving the productivity of most companies. That’s why it is vital to have an IT roadmap in place, a blueprint that details the evolution of the software, the infrastructure and the talent to support it. First an IT strategy is established based on the technological needs and goals of the business, the roadmap is then designed to define the systems and solutions that will actualise the strategy. The roadmap needs to be aligned to the overall strategic objectives of the organisation, so that the IT team can support the ambitions for the company as a whole.
Over the next few months we will use this series to discuss all aspects of planning your IT strategy, including understanding the drivers, developing the guiding architectural principles, planning the timelines of the technologies and designing the implementation and governance around your IT solutions.
First though, it is important to understand the benefits and outcomes that you can achieve from undergoing a project such as IT roadmapping.
The benefits of having an IT roadmap
- It enables a company to be proactive, rather than reactive. It sets long term goals for the IT team, as opposed to being bogged down with only reacting to business users’ needs. It should, of course, still be flexible enough to adjust to the changing needs of the business when necessary.
- It provides a clear delineation of project timelines and their associated costs, so that budgets can be allocated to meet funding requirements well in advance.
- The anticipated outcomes of those projects should also be detailed in the roadmap. This way everyone knows what is in the pipeline, how it will affect their role within the organisation, and what action they need to take in the lead up period, such as product or system training.
- Improvements to the IT infrastructure and software can be prioritised, rather than delivered ad hoc. This means that the most important, and potentially the most beneficial, improvements can be made ahead of less impactful upgrades.
- It will outline if there will be a requirement for new technology or hire skilled staff. When planned investments are laid out in the roadmap it is easier for the IT department to justify the expenditure to the executive team.
- A roadmap will enable a company’s IT department to work in a much more strategic manner. The major focus is on finding ways to improve the business, rather than just keeping the lights on.
- Defining responsibility is another key benefit of having an IT roadmap. The roadmap should detail roles and responsibilities of each team member including the allocated time to completion and the budget they are expected to stick to, so that personal accountability is established.
In summary, IT leaders should be pushing their executive team to develop an IT roadmap so that strategic investments in technology can be made. At the same time executives should be asking for an IT roadmap, as the investments will be relevant for the business as a whole.
In the next editions of The Voice, Brennan IT will outline the first steps in developing a successful IT roadmap, focusing on understanding your business goals and drivers around adopting technologies, as well as education around the latest offerings that are available.
In the meantime, if you are interested in starting a discussion around roadmapping, speak to your account manager about having a business review session with Brennan IT executives and solution architects, who can work with your appropriate contacts to develop a plan for the next 12-24 months.
For more information simply fill out the form on this page or contact us on 1300 500 000.