Developing a Strategic IT Roadmap: Avoiding Pitfalls and Achieving Success

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Does your organization have a strategic IT roadmap? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Many small and mid-market companies don’t have one, and while the reasons are varied, one of the reasons is because IT tends to be focused more tactically on day-to-day needs.

An IT roadmap is a plan that aligns technology and business goals and includes clear objectives, resources, timelines, and outcomes. Creating a roadmap fosters communication between stakeholders across organizational divisions. It also provides a framework for prioritizing and sequencing efforts to get the biggest impact.

Developing an Effective IT Roadmap as a Critical Component of Any Organization’s Long-Term Planning

Without long-term goals, organizations find themselves focused on short-term tasks. An effective roadmap helps organizations prioritize objectives, create milestones and delegate responsibilities.

Identify Objectives and Their Impact on Your Vision

Developing an IT roadmap should start with a review of business goals and priorities to think about the direction of IT and how it can be a business enabler.

When identifying objectives for an IT roadmap, consider what resources are needed to reach your business goals. This should include staff, time, budget and technology.

Set Clear Deadlines for Your Milestones

business milestone

Every effective technology roadmap has milestones. After prioritizing objectives, create milestones that lead toward long-term goals. A firm timeline will help your organization stay on track and demonstrate the effectiveness of the IT strategy.

By setting clear deadlines, you can measure progress toward broader objectives. Along with deadlines, consider success metrics. Success metrics might include a target conversion rate if your company wants to implement digital tools to improve its marketing strategy.

Assign the Right People to the Right Tasks

After building the roadmap, consider making a complementary role map that lays out the responsibilities assigned to each team member. Assigning the right people to the right tasks can make all the difference. Additionally, track progress toward goals to improve communication between team members and leaders.

Avoid These Common Pitfalls in Your Strategic IT Roadmap

What are the most common pitfalls when creating a strategic IT roadmap, and how can you avoid them?

Pitfall #1: Too Many Details

It’s tempting to create a detailed list of tasks and goals. However, a 40-page roadmap leaves your team with little direction and too much detail. The roadmap must capture your strategy succinctly rather than drilling into the details. Instead, craft an IT roadmap that communicates strategy and leaves room for tactical details in other documents.

Pitfall #2: Lack of Business Alignment

Some IT roadmaps offer a clear strategic vision and still fail, When that happens, it is often because of a disconnect with the organization’s larger priorities. It’s critical to identify objectives and their connection to organizational goals early in the road-mapping process. Without connecting those objectives to technology solutions, your milestones will not lead you closer to your goals.

Pitfall #3: Ineffective Leadership

businessman with laptop

Whether you hire an outsourced CIO to lead the implementation or have internal staff, effective IT leadership and governance are key to the success of the strategy implementation. Without an experienced and strong leader, you will spend unnecessary money and time on implementation.

Companies where the business and IT leaders work together to create the strategy perform better than those where IT operates in a silo. This is especially true with the implementation of the strategy, which requires business leaders to play a key role in execution and change management.

Develop an IT Roadmap That is Set for Success with Hartman

A strategic technology roadmap can set your organization apart from the competition and ensure that technology plays a strategic role in achieving your business goals.

The IT strategy experts at Hartman Executive Advisors help organizations assess their current state and develop and execute a strategic IT roadmap that aligns with your business goals. Contact Hartman today to learn how an IT roadmap can set your organization on the path to success.

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