Creating an IT Roadmap for a Small Business
August 12, 2022
Information technology (IT) is integral to any company, and your small business is no exception. An IT roadmap allows you to communicate your IT strategy and initiatives across your whole organization. When you’re running a small business, this can be an invaluable resource in helping your organization soar.
Creating an IT roadmap for a small business doesn’t have to be complicated, and creating one can help your organization run more smoothly and be more efficient–both with your time and finances.
What Is an IT Roadmap?
An IT roadmap is a strategy tool for sharing your IT initiatives and plans for your business. This is a roadmap that all employees can access so everyone can be in the loop with your upcoming IT initiatives.
Your roadmap should outline the timeline for your initiatives as well as how it supports your overall company growth and mission. Ideally, your IT roadmap will highlight how you plan to build, implement, and maintain your technology solutions. If you want to be more flexible with your initiatives, you can utilize swimlanes instead of a set timeline to track your progress.
Benefits of IT Implementation Planning
There are many different types of IT roadmaps your company can utilize, like an enterprise IT roadmap or a roadmap for projects of varying scales. No matter which type of roadmap you use, implementation planning provides many perks to your business, both in terms of operations and financial benefits.
Create Clearer Strategies
An IT roadmap allows your team to have clear strategies in place. You can use your roadmap to define the exact systems you will need and how you can best utilize your assets and resources. This way, everything is in line with your company vision and goals.
An IT roadmap is especially important for companies that recently shifted from offices to remote. A team that works from home has different IT needs than one in a shared office space, so updating your IT roadmap and strategies can help you manage your remote team.
Save Money by Working Strategically
When looking at your projects and company needs from a strategic standpoint, it helps eliminate some unnecessary costs. Your team will be able to identify what is bogging down your workload and find more efficient ways to tackle it.
Then, your company will be able to keep growing and moving forward rather than spending time, resources, and money on practices that aren’t best serving your overall strategy and goals.
Prevent IT Issues before They Happen
Having a strategy in place can also help with preventive IT maintenance. Many server failures are a result of outdated technology. Having an effective strategy in place can help you stay on top of when servers and operating systems need to be updated and can help you manage your planned downtime, rather than cause costly issues from unplanned IT downtime.
How to Create an IT Roadmap for a Small Business
Small business roadmaps differ from larger enterprises in that the goals will start smaller. If you want to get your small business off the ground, it’s important that you don’t overwhelm your team. Remember: large companies can have hundreds of employees across different departments.
For small business owners, it’s recommended to start with one or two goals or initiatives when creating an IT roadmap. This way, your team can feel well-equipped, even if there are fewer resources than there would be at a large company.
When creating an IT roadmap for a small business, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and answer to ensure its effectiveness.
What is my vision and strategy for the business?
Your company goals and vision are the core of your roadmap. Each piece of your strategy laid out in your roadmap should tie back to your overall vision. This way, you can make sure every action item is beneficial to your business goals and growth.
What are my key performance indicators (KPIs)?
The second step is to establish what objectives you want to achieve and how you will measure them. Your business objectives and KPIs should connect to your goals and strategy while also being realistic for your team to achieve.
Some common KPIs for IT departments include a certain percentage of projects being completed on time, repair times, and how much you’re spending on your IT initiatives and infrastructure.
What is my timeline?
Even if you’re using a looser framework like swimlanes, it's still a good idea to set time-based goals that your team can achieve. Timelines in your IT roadmap can help you stay on budget and also allow you to factor in upcoming software updates or launches.
Who will be responsible for what work?
When creating your IT roadmap, consider which team members will be involved in the projects and milestones. Your tasks should all be S.M.A.R.T.:
- Specific: Lay out the specifics in a way that is easy to understand and direct for your team members to know what they need to do. Don’t be afraid to go in-depth on your IT roadmap.
- Measurable: Implement your KPIs so you can appropriately measure and track progress and successes.
- Achievable: Make sure the tasks are realistic for your team to achieve, taking the existing and upcoming scope of work and processes into consideration.
- Relevant: The tasks and goals should be connected to the company vision and goals as outlined in the IT roadmap.
- Time-based: Setting deadlines keeps your team on track and within budget.
Creating actionable tasks on your roadmap and gives your team a clear direction and understanding of exactly who is responsible for what. Once you’ve established these goals, you can implement the steps outlined in your IT roadmap and track everyone’s progress.
What should I include in my IT roadmap?
An IT roadmap typically includes a few key components. Select a few to get your small business started and revise as needed as your company grows.
- New systems: What new technologies can your company implement?
- New releases: Are there any new infrastructures releasing you can factor in?
- Training: Do you need to train IT support staff and/or all other employees on IT initiatives?
- Status updates: Do you need to report on IT implementation for certain projects to move forward?
- Risk factors: Are there any technology limitations that could lead to roadblocks?
Get Started Now!
At IT Proactive, our team is ready to help your business implement your roadmap. Whether you have new or existing IT infrastructure, our IT professionals can help you design, implement, and maintain your servers.
We go beyond just building your network, but finding ways to understand your exact needs and make sure your IT makes sense for you. Contact us today for a free IT assessment.