When businesses are hit with purchases they did not anticipate, business owners and partners become frustrated by unforeseen expenses. This is especially true if the business owners or partners see no real benefit to themselves. A technology roadmap can prevent this from happening.
What is a technology roadmap?
A technology roadmap is a critical piece of the puzzle for any company to have in place. A good roadmap gives a clear direction for the company’s IT department and allows for better decision-making. However, the benefits are actually more far-reaching than one might realize.
A technology roadmap impacts every area of the business
One benefit to the roadmap is ensuring that company leadership and the IT department are on the same page.
The IT department has the best view of just what the company’s IT situation looks like, but they are not necessarily the ones making decisions on these technology needs. A roadmap can help bridge the gap between executives and the IT department.
A roadmap of all the company’s current technology solutions and future plans can help with creating and maintaining a budget. Having everything clearly laid out can make it easier to understand where the money is going now as well as where it will be going tomorrow. Moreover, a technology roadmap allows the IT department to align technology with the business owners’ goals — instead of responding to issues that come up throughout the year, technology becomes the catalyst that allows the business owners’ goals to become reality.
Believe it or not, many companies don’t actually have a technology roadmap. With their technologies already established and no plans to change, they may not see the importance of having a guide for the future. A good technology roadmap doesn’t just show you the future; it can also show you the present. This can help you see places where you may have technologies in place that are no longer needed, which can help cut costs and/or mitigate risk. It can also help you see any flaws, limitations, and bad habits the business has acquired, such as the use of email in an attempt to manage documents and workflow.
IT is just one department of many in the company, but the work they do has an effect on every other department. Nearly every task performed by every department relies on some form of technology that is selected, maintained, and supported by the IT department. Jobs and projects change over time, and the tools needed to do these jobs change as well. A good roadmap can help ensure the company’s available tools align with what employees need to function efficiently. The best time to have a tool in place is before it’s needed.
Managing security of the company’s technology assets is also an important function of the technology roadmap. With so many different technologies interacting with each other, it is critical to have an overview of all the points of integration. Only by seeing how everything works together can you effectively isolate potential IT security risks, ensuring the company’s data, servers, and assets are all secure.
Create, Evaluate, and Maintain
It’s never too late to build a technology roadmap, even if you believe you already have the right technologies in place. The best business owners and firm partners know the value of having another set of eyes examine a situation — the status quo, if you will.
A good technology roadmap will show you not just where you are but also where you need to go. If you already have a roadmap, make sure to revisit it at regular intervals to adjust and evaluate. A comprehensive roadmap will never do harm, and it may just do your company a lot of good.