Technology forms the core of any successful business.

From email management software to your communication systems, it is hard to imagine a successful business without an equally successful technology package running behind the scenes. That means you need to know what tech is currently in use, what’s available, and where you’d like your company to go in the future.

Drawing a strategic roadmap to guide your tech investment is a great way to keep your company at the forefront of business solutions and industry performance.

The foundation of any good IT roadmap

Every IT roadmap that can help you get from where you are today to where you want to be, starts with a few basic concepts.

1. Identifying goals.

Drawing a map without having any goals is like hiking off into the wilderness. You don’t know where you’re going or how you plan to get there.

You need to identify what areas of your business could benefit from technology and which solutions align with your business goals. Then put together milestones that will help you track progress in the short and long term.

An audit of your existing tech can help lead to insights on what you need for the future.

2. Assess new capabilities.

When you decide to implement a change to your existing technology suite, you need to have solid expectations for what the change will achieve.

What are you getting out of this new technology? Will automating expense reports reduce the administrative time needed to handle reimbursements? Will a change reduce your risk of data loss?

It is important to tie your technology to a concrete and measurable business goal.

3. Put together an implementation plan.

You know what you want and what technology can help you get there. Now, it’s time to go behind the scenes into the implementation and maintenance costs.

You may need to invest in upgraded systems to handle the new software, and you’ll want detailed information about operational costs once it’s up and running. Will you need to hire more IT personnel? How many hours will it take to get your new system going?

All of these are questions that should be answered in your implementation plan.

4. Manage milestones and reporting.

Your IT roadmap doesn’t just need to draw a line between old and new technologies. It also needs to include management once the new technology is in use.

Remember those milestones you drew up when identifying the goals of your new tech investment? It’s time to start tracking and hitting those goals. Regular reports on how the technology functions in your business are critical for continuing to meet those milestones.

5. Tackle training.

New software and hardware often add a lot of functionality, but that doesn’t mean employees will instantly intuit how to use it most effectively. In order to get the most out of any new tech, you need to implement comprehensive training plans that repeat with new updates.

6. Monitor your risks.

Any time you switch technologies, there is risk associated with the decision.

If you go for something cutting edge, it might mean an early reinvestment if the technology doesn’t take off. It might also perform suboptimally as systems go through development. If you opt for the tried and true options, you risk early obsolescence.

Don’t get stuck with a fleet of BlackBerry devices with the iPhone looming. All technology adoption carries risk, but you can find a happy medium that meets your business needs.

In summary . . .

Adopting new technology is a big deal. But failure to change leads to stagnation, and eventually, disruption.

If you don’t keep current with technology offerings, your competition will start to outperform you. A good IT roadmap can help keep your business on the path to growth and sustainable development. At Splendid, we have helped many groups implement hundreds of adoptions and migrations to take their business capabilities to the next level.