This is the final part of a three-part series that provides insight into understanding, developing, and maintaining your IT Roadmap.
In part one of this series, we discussed the importance of having an IT Roadmap in place to guide your organization’s IT investments in support of your business objectives. In part two, we discussed the steps that can be taken to determine some of the most effective project initiatives in the your IT Roadmap. This article will address some of the obstacles and challenges that you might be facing while embarking on this process.
The most fundamental element of developing an effective IT Roadmap is executive management’s understanding of and commitment to the process. Below are a number of considerations that can be useful in ensuring management’s alignment with this process.
- Is your leadership a true believer in the role that emerging technologies can play in achieving your organization’s objectives? Executive management sets the tone. The extent to which your leadership believes in how information technologies could be leveraged in advancing efficiencies and innovation will set the tone throughout the organization and define your overall IT approach.
- Are members of the executive team open to change in order to achieve competitive advantage? Newer IT systems are all about change, improved capabilities, and opportunities being introduced on a continuous basis. Organizations that stick to doing things the way they have been accustomed to in the past tend to rationalize their resistance to change and don’t realize that you can maintain your core values while getting things done more efficiently.
- Is your management team willing to listen to everyone’s needs and participate in an integrated and coordinated planning effort? Some organizations excel at participatory management which includes the active involvement of key stakeholders. These organizations have put good practices in place and will have fewer hurdles in developing and maintaining an updated IT Roadmap since they are already accustomed to working together in a collaborative fashion.
- Have there been successes or failures with recent IT and change management initiatives? Having a success track record with previous initiatives definitely sets a positive tone within the organization and encourages an increased level of experimentation. Even when things did not go well with previous initiatives, as long as there were candid reviews and lessons learned reflections of each effort, organizations become stronger and can plow ahead with new ideas and initiatives. Astute managers realize that not changing due to fear of change is actually more damaging than prior setbacks.
- Do you have the right level and mix of resources to assist the organization on this journey? Having the right ideas, mindset, and vision are important, but you also need the proper set of resources to execute your initiatives. Ensuring that management has the right mix of internal and external resources not only to assist with developing an effective IT Roadmap in an unbiased manner but also having adequate qualified resources to assist in the execution phase will be critical in ensuring success.
In conclusion, developing an IT Roadmap is a collaborative process that brings various stakeholders together to assist with formulating IT enablement solution approaches to achieve an organization’s strategic objectives. This dynamic process, when planned and executed effectively, will provide significant growth opportunities for organizations in today’s information-based economy.
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