How to Develop a Technology Roadmap for Your Business

How to Develop an Effective Technology Roadmap for Your Business - a digital roadmap with a line and markers between two points. Publié le 23 February 2024 Par

Be prepared to use the latest tech advance to stay successful by knowing how to develop a technology roadmap for your business.

When you’re setting off on a long journey, you wouldn’t dream of starting out without some idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. The same is true when it comes to making big strategic changes in your organizations, especially when you’re looking to develop something that is integral to any modern business: your technology strategy.

Despite being so important, however, only 33% of companies effectively meet the challenge of digitalization. That’s why a technology roadmap is an essential part of any growing business in 2024. 

By providing an all-encompassing vision of your digital plans as your organization develops, technology roadmaps are a great way to ensure that your tech capacity can cope with rising scale and that you meet key milestones and goals.

As well as helping to better manage resources, most users of a technology roadmap will see an increase in employee and customer satisfaction. That’s because you’ll provide a more cohesive and effective digital experience for internal and external users alike. 

If you want to learn more about technology roadmaps and how you can design a strategic plan that benefits your business, read on. 

What is a Technology Roadmap? 

Incorporating everything from business capability modeling to day-to-day communications, almost all aspects of business strategy are becoming reliant on digital services. In order to make sure that your organization is running smoothly, it’s therefore crucial that you’re able to plan your use of technology effectively. 

Technology roadmaps are just an easy way to produce this plan. Often led by a project manager, they’re a great way to visualize and map out your strategies for adopting, onboarding, and moving on from certain technologies. They’ll usually also include plans for digital transformation over both the short and long-term.

There are two general types of technology roadmaps: systems roadmaps and tech roadmaps. 

Systems roadmaps

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These are plans that focus on the more general strategic issues that relate to technology and IT. They should outline your current IT capacity and compare that to projected requirements over the next few years – only then will you know enough about your IT systems to be able to rely on them as your business develops. 

Alongside detailed information about your IT systems, these roadmaps might examine the IT skills in your team and include plans to reskill your workforce to enhance the technical proficiency of your organization. 

You’d also want to categorize your different IT-related systems and identify how they can improve over the coming years. This should include things such as cybersecurity systems – which are especially important given the various regulations in that field – and your customer management systems. 

Tech roadmaps 

Unlike systems roadmaps, tech roadmaps are more focused on the specific practical details of your technology strategy. On this roadmap, employees should be able to see all of the tech that you’re currently utilizing and that you’re planning to add, such as the different types of telephone systems that you’re using across the organization. 

This should include lifecycles for each piece of tech, so that you anticipate when they’ll become obsolete and so that you can plan around these events. Planning ahead for this will mean that you can better manage the costs related to hardware and software procurement and will make it much easier for you to implement these transitions. 

Benefits of Using a Technology Roadmap

Although you can categorize most technology roadmaps into either a systems roadmap or a tech roadmap, both types of plan are hugely beneficial for your business. Here are the main reasons why you should start to use a technology roadmap:

1. Clarifies your vision 

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Leading any large organization presents issues as you try to get all of your team members working around a common purpose and towards a shared vision. Putting down your strategy into an easily accessible roadmap allows you to make your company vision as clear as possible, while also ensuring that employees are able to see how they can practically implement it. 

This means that technology roadmaps are great ways to improve your leadership, as the goals of your company will be clearly set out for all internal teams to see, while it will also force you to explain how your vision will be achieved. 

2. Improves communication and collaboration 

Technology roadmaps should be thought of as a common language between all of the different stakeholders in your organization. IT will no longer be a mystical world, accessible only by your small team of IT specialists. Instead, everyone will be able to access your digital goals and will be better informed about your IT strategy. 

This will let your teams perform better when it comes to using IT in their day-to-day operations – a marketing team might realize that they have access to a lead nurturing software, for instance. As well as this, non-IT specialists will be able to communicate more effectively with your IT team when it comes to hardware transitions and end-of-cycle events. 

3. Enables better resourcing

By having an idea of your path forward, technology roadmaps will enable you to allocate funds more efficiently. Rather than spending IT budgets on fighting fires, you’ll be able to invest strategically to achieve your identified aims in the plan. This will ensure that you can make more well-informed decisions when it comes to budgeting and resourcing.

4. Facilitates growth and improvement 

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Technology roadmaps should be able to help you recognize business capability (what is a business capability?) in your organization and let you identify areas for improvement in the realm of IT. By having a clear structure for improvement and growth through the use of key goals and milestones, your organization will be better supported as it scales up. 

How to Develop a Technology Roadmap: A Step-by-Step Guide

The benefits of using a technology roadmap are clear: with 89% of large companies undertaking a digital transformation, proactively planning your digital strategy is a no-brainer. But how can you develop a technology for your business? 

1. Set the big picture 

As with any strategic changes, it’s important that you start by considering your general business goals and the overall picture of your IT services. Ask yourself – is your digital strategy currently aligned with your business goals? If not, you might need to begin this process by reassessing the big picture. 

2. Communicate with your teams

It would make no sense to craft a roadmap without any input from those working with your digital services everyday. Not only is this a basic part of ensuring employee wellbeing, it will allow you to collect valuable data about the current performance of your IT systems and technology.

Canvass opinion from your tech engineers and IT support staff, as well as those who don’t directly work with IT. A great way to do this is through a digital survey, which will allow you to access this feedback in one simple location. 

3. Drill into the details 

Once you’ve aligned your business goals and gathered as much data as possible from your employees, it’s time to get into the detailed part. This will include a methodical process of going through each item of hardware and each piece of software, in order to log their lifecycles and efficacy rates.

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It’s only at this point that you’ll be able to consider different enterprise architecture tools, for instance, as you’ll now have the detailed knowledge about your digital services that will enable you to make informed operational decisions that align with your overall strategic goals.

4. Create the roadmap

It’s now time to put your plan into a roadmap. The format of this is up to you – just make sure that it is accessible, easy to view, and contains as little technical jargon as possible. That’s because it will need to be used by everyone in your organization, so consider using a simple technology roadmap template from another company if necessary.

Remember to include clear milestones and goals – if you’ve decided that you need to implement a medallion bronze layer in your data architecture, there’s no point in not linking it to a specific and attainable completion data. 

5. Keep monitoring progress 

If you started a journey going east, you wouldn’t follow the same map if you suddenly needed to change direction – the same principle is true when it comes to developing technology roadmaps. If your business context changes, you’ll have to change your roadmap.

Alternatively, you’ll want to use the technology roadmap as a barometer of progress. The clear implementation or transition dates that you outlined in the roadmap should be used to keep your teams accountable – missing these dates threatens to throw your overall technology strategy off track. 

Technology Roadmaps: The Path to a Strategic Future 

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Research shows that 93% of companies have adopted a digital-first approach, or are planning to do so. This means that you can’t afford to leave IT and technology as an afterthought. Instead, it’s time for strategic planning around your digital operations.

The best way to achieve this is through a technology roadmap, ensuring that all employees are able to access your business goals and helping you to manage your business growth. By following our step-by-step guide to developing a technology roadmap, you can implement this clear strategy-based future in your business!

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