Technology Roadmaps and Why They Matter?
What is a Technology Roadmap?
A technology roadmap is a graphical document that outlines the adoption of technology over time within an organization. Technology roadmaps can provide color to the short-term and long-term goals of a company. A company’s roadmap can include milestones, strategic goals, and even release plans. This sounds like something every technology company should have right? Oddly enough not everyone does. Even if they do, they might not share it with their clients or even their employees. Instead, they could hold it close to the leadership’s chest.
An honest and transparent company will share a technology roadmap with clients and employees so that everyone is aware of the company goal they are working towards. There are circumstances beyond anyone's control, but with a technology roadmap. at least there is a plan in place and companies can move around goals as they see fit. Companies with technology roadmaps aren’t satisfied with the status quo and want to keep moving forward as a business.
What Else Does Having a Technology Roadmap Mean?
Prioritized List of Initiatives
You don’t want to work just to work. You want to know there is a purpose behind what you are doing and that it is part of a bigger vision. Say your company is adopting a new product for the field operations. Even though you want to go live in three months, a lot has to happen ahead of the deployment for your team. Training would be necessary but beyond that, how does the new technology work with the existing ones your field team is already using? Does your company’s IT department have the capacity to deploy this in the timeline that you have set?
It also speaks to hiring needs. In another example, imagine your goal is to chase after 25% more projects, what would that increase in projects mean for your workload as a company? You will probably need to hire more business development staff and possibly more estimators to carry the additional workload. These initiatives provide leadership a clear picture of what each department needs to be focusing on to achieve these milestones and stay on schedule.
The most obvious thing about a technology roadmap? The company is future-focused. They are not satisfied with staying stagnant in a world of ever-changing technology. It doesn’t mean they aren’t proud of where they are today, but they always want to be growing.
A roadmap also speaks to innovation. Yes, a company might want their technology to grow but do they want to keep following the same archaic processes as they’ve done for years, or are they open to change? You can tell by a roadmap if a company is wanting to think outside of the box or not by seeing if their technology is going to stay the same or if they embrace innovation. Is the roadmap only showing the next few years or do they have a bigger vision? Even if they don’t have exact dates (that’s impossible) at least you clearly see where the company is headed.
Do Customers Have a Say?
Ask how a company developed its roadmap. Maybe you are on the fringe of buying or not and you are wondering if they listen to their clients. Is it their way or the highway? You want to partner with a company that will listen to feedback and if something is vital to the industry, despite it not being on the roadmap, will they add it to their roadmap because they know it’s vital for industry success? The best ones will adapt to what’s necessary without compromising the company’s vision.
Technology roadmaps can tell you a lot about a company, way more than what is even documented on the plan. Companies that take the time to create a detailed technology roadmap are working towards a bigger vision, aren’t satisfied with the status quo, and want to collaborate and adapt to what is important for the industry they serve.