Using a Managed Service Provider Can Keep Your IT Roadmap on Track: A CIO Report
As a business evolves, so will its need to continue delivering a competitive service or product. From operations to emerging technologies and beyond, a successful, sustainable business must adapt to industry changes and customer demands.
Businesses that anticipate their industry's evolution and plan accordingly will fare better than businesses that don't. While preparing for these changes can be challenging, the right information, analysis, and plan can help a company thrive during difficult times.
Technology's use and application will require the greatest amount of updating and forecasting in any area of business. By streamlining IT processes, providing more accurate and helpful data, and enhancing capabilities, technological advancement has the greatest potential to transform an existing business structure.
As a business or organization, technology roadmaps can help you plan for a sustainable future. By partnering with a managed service provider, businesses can develop an effective IT roadmap and account for unforeseen challenges.
What is an IT Roadmap?
Technology roadmaps, also called IT roadmaps, are important tools that help businesses outline, develop, and share their IT initiatives. These plans explain what technology will be adopted, why it is needed, and when it will be implemented. IT roadmaps play a key role in addressing technical debt, infrastructure, and driving innovation.
Technology roadmaps highlight current technology and those that will be available in the future. They also consider how soon technology will be obsolete. For example, if you're replacing an onsite storage system with a new one, a technology roadmap will outline when the current system's support ends and when the new system will be rolled out.
IT road maps could include anything from a plan to update old technology to a schedule of when certain technology solutions will be implemented. Migrating a business's data to a new cloud platform or upgrading to a new enterprise software platform are examples of this.
IT roadmaps can take several forms, including:
- IT project roadmaps
- Enterprise IT roadmaps
- Engineering IT roadmaps
- IT architecture roadmap
What Makes an IT Roadmap Successful?
An effective IT roadmap will help businesses progress with confidence while avoiding costly errors. In addition to aligning IT projects with a business's strategic priorities, IT roadmaps will help them plan for the long term and define their needs and priorities before investing. A good CIO or IT leader should be at the center of this.
For small or medium-sized businesses that lack the time and expertise to introduce new technology, partnering with a managed service provider can help businesses identify problems and develop IT roadmaps for driving innovation.
IT service providers will provide recommendations and solutions and conduct an in-depth investigation to identify a business’s weak points. They will cover everything from IT operations, support, sales, and finance, as well as keeping track of equipment warranties, maintenance requirements, and environmental changes.
When partnering with a managed service provider, they make sure your IT roadmap includes the following traits:
An effective technology roadmap should be easy to understand and provide clear explanations. Managed service providers will ensure that your IT roadmap is not only clear and comprehensive but also easy to follow.
They will include a thorough layout that covers the following key components:
- Release plans
- Risk factors
A technology roadmap that has unrealistic deadlines or leaves out major processes will not be useful to anyone. Managed service providers help you gain key insights to ensure your IT roadmaps are realistic about the work involved, the time it will take, and how much each project will cost.
Easy to Share
As you create and finalize your IT roadmap, you will need to involve various stakeholders, including IT, operations, product managers, engineering, project managers, legal, and more. Therefore, it's crucial your IT roadmap makes it easy to collaborate with all of these parties. Managed service providers can assist you in communicating your vision effectively to everyone involved with execution, reducing the risk of future implementation issues.
Your technology roadmap should align with your business's strategy and goals and help your IT department plan for the future. However, technology roadmaps are dynamic and must adapt to new challenges and initiatives. Managed service providers keep an eye on your IT roadmap and update it when projects or timelines change. In addition, they may even use cloud-based platforms to update changes immediately with real-time information.
Supported by Evidence
IT roadmaps should include data that supports your plans and goals. Stats, charts, or links to data are all good components to include in your plans. Managed service providers will help you gather sufficient evidence to support your claims and help you present it in a way that is clear and easy to understand.
Staying on Track with Managed IT Services
When creating a technology roadmap, it is important to design a plan that is concrete but also allows room for adaptability. As IT is growing at a rapid pace, short-term, attainable goals should be supported by a long-term vision, recognizing that changes may be needed along the way.
With a managed service provider, businesses can remain current with emerging technologies. IT providers help you find technology that is flexible, scalable, and affordable for your long-term needs. In addition, they can assist you in weighing the benefits of technology that gives your company an edge over your competitors.
With constant changes in IT best practices, working with trusted IT professionals can ensure your business is on the right path.
How Managed Service Providers Can Get You There
Assuming everything goes smoothly, a tech roadmap should take twelve to eighteen months to complete. However, unforeseen obstacles can build up, adding weeks or months to the project's timeline. These disruptions can ripple across the entire organization if the roadmap coincides with a business's overall goals. For this reason, significant delays must be prevented before they lead to serious problems within an organization.
Here are some of the most common reasons for tech roadmap delays and how managed service providers can help.
IT Department Turnover
In small and medium-sized businesses, IT departments typically consist of only a few professionals. In these situations, your technical roadmap may depend on a member of your team's expertise to accomplish a task. Unfortunately, if they change jobs, you'll have to start the hiring process, which could delay the rest of your IT plan. However, partnering with a managed service provider will give your team the expertise to keep your IT roadmap on track.
If your tech roadmap requires hiring IT specialists for the team, the hiring process alone can be challenging. Technology hiring is highly competitive, and small and medium-sized businesses may have trouble finding the right candidate. However, with a managed service provider, businesses can supplement their in-house teams until the right candidate can be found.
Deploying Technology for Your Tech Roadmap
During the course of your tech roadmap, new technologies may need to be deployed. However, in-house teams may have difficulty finding the time to devote to deployments. In addition, daily tasks such as tech support, network issues, and troubleshooting could interrupt your team from deploying any new technology. For this reason, hiring a managed service provider can be highly beneficial. Managed service providers can take on the day-to-day tasks, allowing the in-house team to concentrate on technology deployment.
Businesses that don't devote resources to monitoring their networks around the clock are at risk of getting into trouble. Network failures at the wrong time can affect your IT operations, delay your IT roadmap, cost your business precious resources, and upset customers. With managed IT services, businesses can gain 24/7 alert monitoring to ensure that network issues are detected and solved immediately.
Securing Resources and Support
Unfortunately, businesses and IT leaders are not always on the same page. Many times, IT directors and CIOs do not participate in executive meetings or have the final say in important business decisions. As a result, big business decisions affecting technology services often come as a surprise. However, with well-thought-out IT roadmaps and the expertise of a managed service partner, IT leaders are more likely to secure resources and support from business executives.
Your Managed IT Service Partner
Technology roadmaps are useful tools for any organization that relies heavily on technological systems. However, while the road mapping process is relatively simple, poor planning can lead to a variety of obstacles down the road. With a managed service provider, however, businesses can plan for the unexpected and ensure the success of their IT departments.
Prescient Solutions is a leading managed service provider with years of experience helping businesses scale their IT operations and plan for emerging IT trends. As your partner and industry expert, we provide a full suite of IT services to improve productivity and help you gain peace of mind.