IT is now the backbone of most businesses. Even companies that aren’t directly associated with technology use IT systems and software daily to keep track of orders, communicate internally, manage stock levels and analyse data.
Ensuring your IT structures keep up with your business and facilitate business growth is crucial. This means you need an IT Roadmap to help keep you on track. But what is a roadmap, why is it necessary, and how do you create one?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is an IT Roadmap?
An IT Roadmap is an overall plan to help bring your technological investments in line with your other business goals. In practicality, an IT roadmap covers everything from future software updates, new ERP systems, and faster WIFI to laptops for new hires, a work-from-home VPN and improved security online.
An IT Roadmap shows how much you can expect to spend on IT in the coming quarter and why. It should plan how your IT department will grow and clarify where money is being spent and why.
So, when you allocate your budget to grow your IT department, your roadmap will ensure it grows in line with the rest of your business and ensure you can continue to meet your targets.
Why is an IT Roadmap important?
With new technology popping up every day, it can be hard to keep track of what your business really needs. Having a roadmap will not only keep you on the right path and ensure you are only investing in a way that makes sense for your business, but it’s also helpful for other departments.
Having a clear roadmap of where money is going and why, shows other executives why the IT budget is what it is and how it will help them in the long run.
IT developments support other departments, but you may need to invest in IT before you can invest elsewhere. This can make spending seem unnecessary. A roadmap means fewer interdepartmental frustrations and a clear picture for everyone to see.
Creating an IT Roadmap from scratch
Building an IT roadmap is the first step in taking your IT systems seriously. However, if you’ve previously been haphazardly adding to your IT structure with no real plan, you likely have a tangle of systems and no real goal or way to streamline the process.
It is overwhelming and can be hard to know where to begin.
The first step in creating your IT roadmap is considering your other business goals. If you plan to grow your business, diversify or reinvest elsewhere, this will inform the kind of IT support you need. For example, you might only need Supplementary IT Support, whereas some might need a fully managed service provider. The second step is to think about what software, systems and technology you need to achieve these goals and how this differs from your current situation.
Once you have clarified your start and end points, you can begin to think about budget allocation, deadlines, and where you need to invest to reach your goals.
For help creating a detailed IT roadmap and support setting IT goals, get in touch today. One of our expert Virtual IT Directors can help deliver an IT roadmap that is tailored to your business needs.