Businesses face constant pressure to keep up with rapidly changing technology trends. Given the huge reliance on connectivity, unexpected disruptions can quickly spiral out of control when it comes to costs and employee productivity. Yet despite the risks, there are a lot of smaller businesses that still don’t have a clearly documented technology roadmap. Here’s why you need to make one:
#1. Achieve business alignment
Making the wrong technology choices can easily leave you in a worse situation than when you started. It’s one of the reasons why some businesses have actually reverted to older systems and processes. A technology roadmap helps achieve harmony between business and IT by focusing on your business priorities for the next three to five years. In fact, an IT roadmap isn’t even about technology as much as it is about business goals and processes.
#2. Address current issues
A technology roadmap isn’t some document you have an IT Consultant write once and then forget about. It’s a dynamic plan that evolves with the needs of your business and ensures continuous improvement of business-critical processes. It helps you evaluate your current processes and systems and address issues before they can become a problem.
By providing you with a detailed technology roadmap, you can figure out if you’re close to achieving your goals. If not, the roadmap can help you identify opportunities for improvement.
#3. Understand your capabilities
Mapping out your existing technology infrastructure helps you understand your capabilities as they exist now and identify areas in need of improvement. A roadmap helps you prioritize tasks in line with business goals.
For example, perhaps you’re receiving complaints from customers about lengthy support times due to outdated processes and inefficient software. A roadmap can provide a documented approach for resolving such problems. In this case, your goals may be to establish an automated workflow that streamlines the customer service process or instantly alerts the appropriate staff to promptly tend to customer needs.
#4. Avoid poor investments
Few industries are more inundated with hype than business technology. Salespeople tirelessly try to get business leaders chasing after the latest tech fads regardless of whether or not they really need them. With technology expenses accounting for a huge portion of the organization’s revenue, it’s more important than ever to ensure your technology choices align with your goals. A technology roadmap is, first and foremost, about business needs, which means it primarily exists to prevent you from making poor investments.
#5. Unify disparate systems
Today’s business IT infrastructures often consist of a dizzying array of computing resources hosted in-house, across multiple cloud providers, and on employee-owned mobile devices. It has become practically impossible to keep track of everything without a clearly defined and automated process for doing so.
A technology roadmap helps you drive a culture of continuous improvement, gradually bringing everything together under a single, connected infrastructure. It likely won’t happen overnight, but it will prevent different branches and departments from starting their own systems that are siloed and incompatible with one another.
#6. Ensure business continuity
In a time when businesses face constant threat from cyberattacks, hardware failures, or even rapid obsolescence, it’s more important than ever to plan for the future. A roadmap helps you establish your goals early on and choose the technologies that will see them come to fruition for the next few years. It’s all about standardizing your critical processes so your business can easily grow.
#7. Simplify software migrations
Your IT roadmap can also help you simplify software and hardware migrations. For example, your plan might include a documented methodology for safely and efficiently migrating data over to the cloud and bringing it together under a centrally managed infrastructure. This standardized approach will also reduce human error and allow you to maintain complete visibility into the process to mitigate any risks.
Frontline provides worry-free IT services to companies in Los Angeles. Our unique approach to IT support and managed services ensures better results at lower costs. Call us today to create your very own technology roadmap that will drive your company’s success.
This article was originally published as part of Lido Consulting’s Spring 2021 newsletter.