Since 2011, Cornerstone Edge has been focused on helping customers find creative solutions for the challenges slowing down their supply chain. There are a variety of factors that contribute to supply chain inefficiencies, be it poor vendor relationships, lack of transparency, or outdated technology. If your business is struggling, you may benefit from a technology roadmap to pave the way to more efficiencies, less waste, and better outcomes. So, what exactly is a technology road map? Let’s dig in.
Once completed, a technology roadmap serves as a governing document that specifically outlines how different kinds of technology can support business strategies and priorities. A well-executed technology roadmap creates a framework that clearly outlines and prioritizes your objectives and requirements into a high-level strategy that will inform all decisions made down the line. As a bonus, a roadmap allows you to clearly communicate the details of your strategic plan to any collaborators or stakeholders, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Though roadmaps are specific to each business and their specific goals, the best roadmaps all contain:
- A strategy statement: A list of the businesses’ overall strategic priorities, encompassing all departments, not just IT.
- A detailed timeline: A plan for the years to come with approximate start and end dates for each initiative, how long they will last, and how large each project is.
- A priority list: A list created by both the business and IT department outlining what improvements take precedence over others. This should be updated regularly.
- Project Justification: Detailed explanations for why each project should be undertaken.
- Cost and duration information: Accurate pricing and timing for each project for at least the next 12 months.
- Project ownership details: A document outlining who is leading what project for ease of accountability.
Developing a roadmap can be especially valuable in helping stakeholders launch a complex initiative.
How are Technology Roadmaps Used?
As you can see, a technology roadmap is useful in giving you a robust list of what your business needs to thrive. It’s an active way of organizing your business’ needs in a way that can serve you down the line. How can it be used? There are 3 main ways:
- The IT team leader can use it to discuss new projects or priorities with executives. It helps leadership understand how to balance investment and project priorities
- The IT department can use it to enhance their planning. It provides an idea of anticipated needs ahead of time, making planning and execution all the more attainable.
- Business leaders can use the roadmap to fully understand what is required to initiate a project and what will be delivered upon its completion. It will keep leaders aligned on strategic technology priorities helping with stakeholder buy-in before projects even begin.
When creating a technology roadmap, there are a variety of items that are taken into consideration to aid in designing the plan best suited for your goals. Having objective insight into your business as a whole, technological capabilities, and operations can go a long way in creating a roadmap that not only achieves your current goals, but sets you up for improvements later on down the line. At Cornerstone Edge, we take a holistic approach in technology roadmap creation, looking at the whole picture to ensure no stone is left unturned. To get started on a roadmap, we’ll ask questions like:
- How old are your systems?
- Can your technology keep up with the most recent tech available?
- Can your resources support the technology you have in place right now?
- Can the vendors you partner with work with your current technology?
- Are you using RF equipment, touch pads, or other handheld devices?
- Is your RF equipment supported by the programs you have installed?
- Do you have automation equipment with software limitations?
- Are you able to track inventory?
- Can you support the ever-growing eCommerce market?
And so much more.
Are you looking to make improvements to your supply chain and you’re unsure where to start? We can help. Push your business forward with a Technology Roadmap that matches your short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions. With a Technology Roadmap, you can visualize and balance work from a variety of scopes and types, giving you the flexibility to address your core infrastructure and work toward growth-oriented innovation. Give us a call today, and let’s make your supply chain your differentiator, together.