Why Your Technology Roadmap Must Align with Your Strategic Plan
Small to mid-sized businesses have a chicken or egg riddle of their own to solve: Which came first, a strategic plan or technology roadmap?
It’s more about what should come first, and that would be a strategic plan so that you know how to align your technology.
Why does this approach help your business in the short-term and long-run?
We dive into it below:
What Is A Technology Roadmap?
Think of a technology roadmap as a way forward for business operations to reach increased and better productivity through the utilization of technology.
For example, a business’ strategic plan can be to increase the efficiency of its manufacturing and distribution processes. To implement this, they would need a technology roadmap to equip its warehouse with better management resources and tools.
Or a membership association may require next-level planning and learning opportunities. Therefore, its roadmap would involve the implementation of an upgraded learning management system.
Why Is It Important For Technology Plans To Align With Strategic Plans?
A strategic plan should trigger the formation of a technology roadmap to support it.
As a fractional chief technology officer, I evaluate the existing strategies and future plans of a business. When I perform the evaluation it is with an eye on identifying the future goals and potential technology gaps that may exist. Then we design a foundational technology roadmap that aligns with the organization’s strategic vision and goals. By following the technology roadmap, it helps to ensure that the organization’s goals and objectives are met on a timeline that meets leadership’s expectations.
What Happens If They Don’t Align?
You never want to move full steam ahead with a technology roadmap, lag behind with strategy, and play catchup. If your technology roadmap and strategic plan don’t line up, it could spell potential disaster for your business.
Let’s say a manufacturer’s strategic plan is to open a new plant in Albuquerque with 150 employees to support their West Coast customers and prospects. If you’ve overlooked the technology to support it--like incorporating the capacity of the new plant into your scheduling engine, determining warehouse management needs, ordering devices to support the workforce, determining security needs both physically and digitally, and many other technology-related needs--the opening of the plant could be delayed or disrupted.
A Seat At The Table
Technology should always have a seat at the table with the executive team of an organization. When the CEO has an idea, technology can raise their hand and say,
“We need to think through these six paths. I want you to be aware of what technology you're going to need to support that new idea and how best to implement it. We want to ensure that we can successfully implement the solution, manage the change with staff, and measure the ROI. This will help all of us sleep better at night.”
Results Technology Group provides technology services to our clients with best-in-class software selection, project management, and business technology leadership services. To learn more about our fractional CTO expertise and capabilities, schedule a free 30-minute technology discussion.