What is a Technology Roadmap?
How is your digital transformation coming along?
The answer should be pretty obvious if you’re like the majority of other leaders (including CTOs) up and down the country…
What that means, is that you’re not as far along as you’d like. While you appreciate the importance of taking your time when it comes to making changes around your organization, you also have goals to meet.
To stay competitive in our agile environments, you need to:
- eradicate wastage
- prioritize efficiency
- boost productivity
That’s not to mention the difficulty you face in integrating your people with technology and finding your position within the digital marketplace. It’s a lot to manage and this complexity is one of the main reasons why 70% of businesses fail.
To not count yourself as one of them, you need an unshakeable strategy. You need a tool that points your business in the right direction and has you accelerating towards digital proficiency.
You need technology roadmaps.
The Definition of Technology Roadmaps
A technology roadmap is a visual diagram – often resembling a flowchart – that represents your organization’s complete digital transformation journey.
It’s an asset to your company, giving you and your employees a reference that evaluates the progress you’ve made with hardware and software adoption. It compares where you’ve come from, what you’ve done so far, and where you need to be.
A more complicated version of a technology roadmap can even identify where your workforce needs more digital training.
The Importance of Technology Roadmaps For Your Business
As you’ll have probably concluded over the past few years, one of the hardest parts of digital adoption is setting achievable goals that your employees are eager to follow.
Due to humankind’s inherent resistance to change (and the overwhelming burnout affecting the productivity of our employees), individuals aren’t going to willingly sign themselves up to learn yet another system.
Employees would much rather stay within their comfort zone, completing a task the way they’ve always done it. For a leader, this makes successful organizational change a tricky process to manage. Either you…
- Risk overloading teams and damaging their interest in working with you.
- Aren’t able to remain competitive in your market.
It’s not ideal.
Thankfully, technology roadmaps are the solution. They allow you to motivate your employees towards your end goal through effective communication. With them, you can set clear expectations for your team and change mindsets accordingly.
By giving your team an outline of what IT changes you have coming up (before they happen), employees have the time to adjust and ask questions. This will further your digital transformation – to the advantage of your business.
The 7 Key Components of a Technology Roadmap
At the end of the day, technology roadmaps can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. It’s your choice. But, to make the most of the benefits available to you, there are certain elements that shouldn’t be missed.
1. New Technology
Of course, you want to start by identifying the programs and devices you’d eventually like to incorporate into the day-to-day activities of your business.
This should include.,.:
- Any changes you want to make to your existing digital ecosystem.
- An acknowledgement of the upcoming (unreleased) technologies you want.
Therefore, you can create a long-term strategy for digital transformation that considers every angle.
2. Available Resources
We can all agree. Software and hardware are rarely cheap, though the average return on investment makes the purchases worth it.
However, before you splurge your budget on every technology that’s within reach (without care), you need to evaluate the financial resources of your company and decide what your priorities are.
There’s no need to rush.
You might decide you’d prefer a CRM over FCM at this stage in time, and can spend your money accordingly. Also, at this point in your technology roadmap, you should identify employees that might become a champion of change.
3. Clear Goals
It may seem obvious, but it needs mentioning anyway… your strategy would be useless without SMART goals.
These are going to be different across every organization, regardless of industry, and are going to prove crucial to your success.
After all, without knowing where you want your business to be, how are you going to get there? Be sure to set targets for your organization as a whole as well as individual employees.
4. Specific Milestones
Similar to the previous component, you need to be able to measure the progress of your technology roadmap.
Use milestones to create a bridge between where you are and where you want to be. These will give your employees baby steps to take that will progress your plan without overwhelming anyone.
This way, you can be reassured your organization is on track and be confident your plan is working. Goodbye, stressful digital transformation.
5. Supportive Training
It’s all well and good to choose the technology you want to introduce to your organization. Unless you have a plan to teach your employees to use them… adoption will fail.
You’ll encounter resistance and complaints, losing money to an inefficient, time-wasting system.
As such, employee performance needs to be part of your strategy from the very beginning. Before a new system is due to launch, put time aside for your team to learn.
6. Risk Factors
To execute digital transformation, there’s something you urgently need to address… risk. This can be done through your technology roadmap.
- How likely are you to hit every target?
- Do you foresee constant productivity from your employees?
- Will there be times when you have less staff than you need?
- What would happen if you purchased a system that wasn’t compatible with your other platforms?
- Are you going to cope should a piece of technology be down for the day?
It’s a lot of questions, isn’t it? All of the answers need to be considered, as they’ll largely affect whether or not you are successful in your mission.
7. Release Plans
Once you’ve considered every element of your technology roadmap, it’s time to introduce it to your organization.
You need to explain to your employees what it is, why it’s useful, how to understand it, and where they can use it to their advantage. This can be done through 1:1 training meetings or a group tutorial.
Whatever your plan, be sure to consider the factors of change management and act accordingly.
Technology Roadmaps vs Product Roadmaps
There are two similar principles that often get mixed up with each other… technology roadmaps and product roadmaps.
Both look visually comparable and can be incredibly useful to a growing organization. However, they do have their key differences.
While product roadmaps are also all about outlining your vision over a period of time, the intended purpose isn’t usually focused on technology.
It looks to guide your product development team in making and achieving the perfect end result. Product roadmaps set deadlines to follow to keep you profitable and can even be used after the launch stage to improve your product.
What is a Technology Roadmap? – FAQs
Regardless of what your technology roadmap looks like, taking the time to draw one will prove an asset for your company.
It can be shared with other leaders in your organization as well as your employees, to guide decision-making and accelerate your digital transformation.
However, if you still aren’t fully convinced (and need a little extra guidance)… perhaps these FAQs can point you in the right direction.
- How do you make a technology roadmap?
The simplest way forward is to use a software platform, like Monday.com, that already has a technology roadmap system in place. Then, all you need to do is input the relevant requested information, and it’ll design the visual for you.
- What should a technology roadmap include?
Fundamentally, you need to establish your goals, create a plan to achieve them, evaluate your progress along the way, and provide training. You might also consider measuring risk factors (such as resistance to change) and creating a strategy to overcome them.
- Who is responsible for technology roadmaps?
Anyone in your IT department might have an interest in drawing up a technology roadmap, but particularly anyone in a strategic position (i.e. CTO or CIO). They are the ones wanting to drive digital transformation across your organization.
- What are the benefits of technology roadmaps?
For employees, they set clear expectations and goals to work towards. For leaders, they give you an idea of what work needs to be done and how you can go about it. There will also be clear deadlines involved that both parties can follow.
Train Employees Digitally through Userlane
Once you have your technology roadmap in place, there’s only one thing left to do…
Facilitate the learning and development of your employees to make the transition of new technology easy.
Luckily, you’re in the right place. Userlane’s Digital Adoption Platforms are the perfect tool.
We automate software onboarding to provide real-time guidance to your team as they learn, increasing adoption rates and reducing support tickets.
This elevates the pressure placed on your leadership team to provide employee training and gives them more time to focus on completing the specifics of their digital transformation journey.
Ready to learn more? Request a demonstration today.