When asking the question, “Have you got an Information Technology Roadmap?”, we are asking how important your IT infrastructure is to your business.
We hope that as the security landscape evolves, and new threats continue to arise, that you are taking your business and your computer network seriously. Doing so can help you stay ahead of the game, and have competitive advantage from other businesses, because you have a vision and a plan to keep yourself in business, your data protected and secured, and possibly even a solution for disaster recovery.
Why have a roadmap for technology?
Having a roadmap is an ongoing strategic process that helps businesses plan and manage their IT initiatives, such as migrating to a new cloud system, upgrading to a new enterprise software platform, or improving their IT security.
Creating a roadmap can provide several benefits:
- It helps businesses see and understand the implications of their IT plans, such as how their business operations may be affected, their cybersecurity posture, and their regulatory compliance.
- It helps businesses forecast their spend and avoid unbudgeted, unwelcome costs.
- It helps businesses communicate their IT plans to their internal stakeholders, such as an IT department, an operations department, the executive staff and board, and the people who make up that team and gain their support and alignment.
- It helps businesses keep track of their IT progress and deal with unexpected challenges or changes in a strategic way.
- You would start with an overall roadmap and then fine-tune each area of that roadmap to be more granular to capture the key objectives, defining the scopes and meeting the needs and goals of the business.
Some common types of IT roadmaps are:
- Enterprise IT roadmap: This type of roadmap outlines a broad range of IT initiatives that span the entire organisation, such as integrating different systems, improving the IT infrastructure, or enhancing the IT capabilities. An enterprise IT roadmap typically covers a longer time horizon – 12-18 months, or even longer – and prioritises activities according to their strategic importance to the business.
- IT project roadmap: This type of roadmap focuses on a single, or a few, IT projects that have a specific scope and objective, such as implementing a new software tool, training new staff, or improving a specific process. An IT project roadmap usually covers a shorter time horizon – 3 to 6 months is standard – and breaks-down the project into smaller tasks and milestones.
- IT architecture roadmap: This type of roadmap shows the technical design and structure of the IT systems and products that support the business, such as the servers, databases, networks, and applications. An IT architecture roadmap illustrates how the current and future IT architecture supports the business requirements and goals and identifies any gaps or risks that need to be addressed.
- Engineering IT roadmap: This type of roadmap describes the engineering activities and deliverables that are required to build and maintain the IT systems and products, such as coding, testing, debugging or deploying. An engineering IT roadmap aligns an engineering team with the product vision and roadmap and defines the engineering standards and best practices.
Information Technology (IT) roadmapping is an essential practice for any business that wants to leverage technology to achieve its goals and stay competitive in the market. By using a visual tool like a roadmap, businesses can plan and manage their IT initiatives more effectively and efficiently.
Related: The cloud – then and now