Company growth is usually synonymous with the necessity for more intricate management solutions that ensure business processes are running in the optimal way, and the overall performance of a business across departments meeting the demand. In today’s era of business, business processes are best managed using IT solutions. This means that, when businesses grow, and their performance demands increase, they need to think about adopting new technology.
Unfortunately, adopting new IT isn’t as simple as purchasing the technology, setting it up and making sure everyone has the login. The lead up to implementing new technology in a business is paved with careful research, planning, and organization. We spoke to one organization with a lot of experience in implementing new IT. TechQuarters, a managed IT services provider based in London, has worked with hundreds of businesses over the last 10 years, helping them implement new IT in a way that guarantees maximum adoption and return on investment. According to them, the key is to establish a detailed technology roadmap.
What is a Technology Roadmap?
A technology roadmap is a plan that outlines the new IT a business wants to adopt, and how they are going to implement the IT. Implementing new IT is best achieved through IT projects, and a truly detailed technology roadmap outlines both short-term and long-term goals.
Technology like this has many benefits – one of the main advantages is the guidance it provides teams. As mentioned, a really good product includes not just what is being implemented and how, it also establishes goals, which more often than not includes timeframes, projected deadlines, and milestones. These kinds of details are crucial to ensure that projects are not drawn out and cost the business more time and money than they need to.
What is more, a detailed roadmap starts with extensive research to identify why the business needs the new IT, and what advantages it brings – this ensures that a business isn’t making any expensive mistakes with implementing the wrong solutions.
What is needed for a good Technology Roadmap?
There are 2 main components to a successful roadmap: Technology, and People.
The technology is obviously important, as it is in the name. This is where the research phase comes in – a business needs to identify which technologies will not only introduce the most benefits, but which technologies will cooperate with the organization’s existing IT systems and software. People need to be accounted for in a good technology roadmap – it needs to be established how personnel will be trained in and onboarded to new solutions. What is more, all stakeholders need to be on the same page before a business executes the roadmap.
How to Create a Technology Roadmap
Every company’s roadmap will be different, but that does not mean that the steps in creating a roadmap diverge very much. In fact, there are 5 broad steps that a business should take when they are building their technology roadmap, as listed below:
Set Your Intentions
Before a business does anything, they need to establish why they want to implement new IT. What purpose will the new technology fulfill within the organization? There are a number of ways to find your objectives. For instance, some organizations might like to identify the business pains they have – such as protracted workflows or inefficient communications between customers and the business. Establishing why you want to make a change helps you figure out what changes need to be made.
Identify Your Audience
The audience for a technology is usually the executives of a business, or perhaps the owner; but it could also be the managers or supervisors of the people drafting the roadmap. The audience may also include the company staff – for instance, if the roadmap is focused on overhauling customer services, or replacing the CRM systems a business uses, the audience will include the departments who will be adopting most of the new IT – and so the audience largely depends on the type of initiatives that make up the roadmap.
Outline the Broad Steps
Once the goals for the technology have been decided, and the audience of the roadmap is established, then the plan of action must be developed. It is best to start big with this. Begin by outlining the broadest steps of the process according to the primary goals you have established. It is important to start with the big steps, then gradually begin to outline the smaller steps, until you have worked out all of the minute details. This represents the bulk of the work involved with developing a thorough roadmap, and will include a lot of research and planning – therefore, expect this to be the most time consuming step.
Present the Roadmap to All Stakeholders
When you have finally finished your technology roadmap, it is time to present it to the appropriate stakeholders – this is where the second step of identifying ones audience comes in. Presenting the roadmap to the business’ stakeholders is important, because they are the ones who have authority to approve, amend, or reject the proposition. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to impress the necessity of the initiatives in your roadmap – detailing how they will improve business processes, what kind of return on investment the business can expect, and how quickly the company will see the effects of the new implementations.
Assemble the Execution Team
Once the technology roadmap you have created and presented has been approved by the stakeholders, now is the time to execute your carefully developed plan. This starts with assembling the team, or teams, who will execute the initiatives – depending on the business, this might be a team outsourced from a third-party IT support provider but the team may be a business’ in-house IT team, while their IT partner takes care of daily operations. The team may even be a combination of in-house engineers, and engineers from the IT partner. The team overseeing the roadmap – whoever they may be – should adhere to the roadmap to make sure that everything is done successfully, and according to the schedule.