Technology road maps are crucial for digital transformation. Source: Shutterstocky

Technology road maps are crucial for digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Successful digital transformation begins with a road map in hand

DIGITAL transformation is a lengthy process. Often organizations find themselves overwhelmed by the vast breadth of what it encompasses, and don’t know how or where to kickstart the process.

However, it need not be daunting. The key to a successful transformation lies in starting right and setting out with clear goals in mind.

Before embarking on this journey, leaders must first put their heads together and draw up a solid technology roadmap.

Simply put, a technology roadmap is a guide that outlines an organization’s technology initiatives and strategies. It can be thought of as a compass that points an organization northward throughout its transformation process.

At the core of a successful roadmap lies the organization’s business strategies and goals.

By developing transformation blueprints around the roadmap, organizations can be sure that strategies are consistently aligned with company initiatives, and stay true to the organization’s vision.

Further, roadmaps can provide a panoramic view of a company’s ‘technology history’. Based on this bigger picture, business leaders can then holistically evaluate and predict the organization’s IT needs.

Because of its detailed cataloging, roadmaps can also serve as a tool for gauging the success of various products and technological initiatives.

Building a good roadmap is no easy feat, and must be done in a structured manner which will ensure comprehensiveness and transparency, and foster a common understanding. There are three phases to consider:

# 1 | Preliminary phase

During this phase, the leadership and the content of the roadmap are agreed upon. Then, key problems are identified, and solutions to address them discussed.

# 2 | Developmental phase

The roadmap goes on paper, in a physical document. The focus of the roadmap must be clearly established. This may include drivers, targets, and recommendations of technology alternatives.

# 3 | Follow-up phase:

The roadmap is evaluated and rectified for potential improvements. It is then used as a framework for propelling technology initiatives.

How the roadmap looks like for each company varies. Essentially, an effective roadmap would be one that is easily accessible and transcends all departments.

This is crucial because transformation is not a one-man show. For it to succeed, the entire organization must be on the same page, having full knowledge of both goals and outcomes.

Also, technology is never stagnant, and companies must adapt to survive. Thus, the roadmap must be flexible enough to be scaled and have enough room to accommodate uncertainties.

Ultimately, having a robust technology roadmap would give organizations a competitive advantage.

Leaders must also note that it is equally important to ensure employees understand the reasons behind having a roadmap.

With a robust transformation map in place, businesses can charge forward, leveraging technology to improve business performance and thriving against the competition.