11 Oct 2016

IT Roadmap Series: Part 1 - Why businesses need a technology roadmap

A well-defined technology strategy and technology roadmap is a critical element for the operational effectiveness of most businesses today. It should include a clear vision and timetable of how the organisation will grow and how technology can support that growth.

A technology roadmap can let companies:

  • Make more considered technology investments based on a clearly-defined path.
  • Be flexible enough to adjust according to market developments without losing direction altogether.
  • Prepare for major technology investments in the future by setting out the expected lifecycle for each component of the infrastructure.
  • Budget more effectively, avoiding (where possible) large, one-off expenses.

A key role of our account managers is to sit down with clients and put together a technology strategy that will support their business outcomes over the next year or even few years. A useful technology roadmap should include six key elements:

1. Roles overview

The plan should include an overview of how key systems integrators, IT support staff, technicians, and heads of each business unit will work together to achieve desired outcomes. This will ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, it will keep the project on track from the outset, and help with identifying and resolving issues sooner.

2. Milestones

A set of milestones along the journey that team members can aim for is important and helps employees buy into the growth strategy.  This focus gives them both incentive and direction to work towards hitting achievable, smaller goals along the way.

3. Change management

When employees feel invested in achieving the organisation’s goals they are more likely to work productively towards them. This can be through formal or informal incentives, and should certainly be encouraged via an explicit change management component of the plan.

Change management plans help affected departments plan for the inevitable disruption created by new systems, and lets them address any issues head-on. For example, managers can implement a training timetable for staff ahead of the transformation so that, by the time that it rolls arounds, employees are well-versed in how the new technology will work. As a result, there should be no loss of productivity while everyone adapts to the new systems.

4. Communications tactics and goals

Better technology should make people’s jobs easier. To get staff on board, they need to understand how their roles will change for the better, and what the benefits will be in terms of freeing them up to add more value, to focus on more enjoyable tasks, or to get through a backlog of work faster. Organisations must communicate this information consistently, clearly, and regularly.

5. Resource planning

Implementing new technology regularly, and providing ongoing maintenance and support for it, is a resource-heavy undertaking. By incorporating this into the technology plan, affected departments can ensure that they have the adequate resources to meet the new demands, whether that involves training up existing staff or engaging in external recruitment.

6. Reporting

Reporting should be part of the plan. Regular reporting provides stakeholders with a clear indication of how the project is progressing and helps identify whether there is a delay or an issue with any part of the plan. This way, managers can see sooner rather than later whether they need to take action to keep the project on track. They can then act accordingly to minimise the potential disruption.

To find out how Brennan IT can help your IT organisation build a strong technology strategy and roadmap, simply fill out the form on this page or contact us on 1300 500 000.