As programs and applications take on more complex roles and development protocols within an organization, the importance of IT operations roadmap is enhanced as the organization moves from strategy to operations execution. In every industry, business leaders look toward a strategy to fulfill their visions effectively, pushing their business goals forward in regards to digital, social and cloud initiatives. Unfortunately, the prevalent lifecycles within these organizations manage to account for the short-term but become increasingly fuzzy when long-term goals are concerned.
The greatest victim of this lifecycle is the enterprise software of an organization. Since this aspect is pervasive and complex it requires consistent upkeep by the IT department, as it supports the fundamental functions of a business. The consistent upkeep makes it rather difficult to adopt new and cutting-edge technologies as the priority is always putting out the fires that break out. The question on the minds of the executives is always “how?”. The answer to which lies in developing a new roadmap for your IT operations. A roadmap allows your chief technology officer to operate in line with the overall business strategy. It benefits both the executives in regards to strategy and to operations in regards to function, along with encouraging collaboration amongst your in-house team to cultivate efficiency.
IT Operations Roadmap Defined
Think of the technology roadmap as the governing document of your IT operations that specifically dictates how your technological asset will support and sustain your improved business strategy. Aiding driving your priorities and reaching milestones over the course of the next 3-5 years. A roadmap is usually comprised of the following:
A statement of strategy that lists all the strategic priorities of a business (not necessarily IT-specific).
A timeline of projects and initiatives that the organization intends to work on over the five years with expected start and end dates.
A list of improvements prioritized. This list is jointly created by both IT and business executives and needs to be periodically refreshed.
High-level project Justifications. Justifications must be provided for every project for the next twelve months to help with High-level decision making.
The estimated duration and cost for every project. This information must be reasonably accurate for all projects for the next 12 months
The owner for every project. This is the executive responsible for overseeing a project and accountable for its success.
To support the IT operations roadmap, it is recommended that technology departments upskill their teams with IT Ops training and keep up-to-date versions of the following:
- Architecture designs of the entire organization systems cover everything from platforms, interfaces, and manual data plotting.
- A through system inventory that contains lifecycle dates, statements of usage, system owners and a number of users.
- A well-maintained list of issues and problems the IT staff is experiencing, incorporating a help desk or ticketing system would be a good tracker for this.
How to Utilize IT Operations Roadmap
The roadmap will have 3 primary functions:
It will be used to facilitate investment decisions with all the executives. The chief technology officer will use this roadmap to create a baseline during new project discussions and priorities with decision-makers within the organization. It will aid leadership in understanding how to best balance project priorities and investments.
IT department will utilize it to improve the planning phase for resources and projects. The roadmap will provide a clear visualization that will help the management in anticipating resource needs, planning, vendor and software selection, as well as costing well ahead of time. Allowing them to better adjust their vision and strategy and plan accordingly with their executives in advance.
Management can use it to pin down the requirements and make arrangements. Roadmaps help the management understand clearly how existing priorities will be aligned with new initiatives. It will keep the executives aligned on strategic initiatives across your organization. Active management and consistent referral to the roadmap will keep everyone and everything in sync with one another.
Who benefits from IT Operations Road Maps
It must be apparent by now that the carefully designed roadmap structures communication between the IT department and the Operational executives in a manner that allows them to:
- Act in a strategic manner while managing projects and making decisions.
- Make buy-in from management more secure and a structured process, which makes it simpler to make buy-in from users.
- To be able to negotiate effectively with management and staff who request new initiatives or projects requiring significant effort.
Through the roadmap, operational executives can be more strategic when requesting new technology to be implemented or improve the existing ones. By using the functional strategy they’ve developed they can work with IT executives to better understand the tech they need to reach their goals. The roadmap provides all the resource needs of different projects in one place for the time when resource needs to re-allocated to more pressing initiatives. Then it can easily be done so by consulting the roadmap. Above all, roadmaps provide a structured and strategic approach to monitoring your business’s progress, needs and changes as and when they arrive. It ensures that an IT voice is always there to inform decisions and support what’s possible and throw out what’s not so time isn’t wasted.
Staff and Project Teams
In order to effectively design and accomplish a sustainable IT Operations roadmap, IT Ops training would go a long way in helping you achieve it. As a matter of fact, online IT technical training would better equip your project teams to handle projects pressing requirements and initiatives that require close monitoring and adjustments to be successful.
An organization must participate to the greatest extent possible in the developmental process. As the strategic nature of the operational roadmap makes the buy-in of the management critical, and high-level support will definitely be needed to reach milestones and accomplish objectives.