As organisations across all industries digitally transform their businesses, an interesting conundrum is occurring. How do you ensure your digital transformation efforts will meet the current demands of your market and customer base, as well as be adaptable to future changes and further technological advancements? Transforming your tech stack needs to be done in such a way that it doesn’t become obsolete quickly, it needs to be future proof.

Future-proofing is more than just a buzzword. In IT departments, small and large, it means combining long-term business strategy and trajectory with up to date and adaptable information systems and technologies that will support business growth, agility and ultimately success. And to do this you need a well-planned and thorough IT roadmap.

Why is an IT roadmap important?

An IT roadmap is a strategic plan that businesses develop to achieve technology objectives, such as cloud migrations or software upgrades. Unlike other types of roadmaps, such as product roadmaps, IT roadmaps are concerned with internal systems and processes.

Not implementing an IT roadmap or focusing on the wrong areas can have serious consequences for your business development. Without knowing if your IT systems and processes are in full alignment with your company needs, or implementing updates to your tech stack without mapping the potential implications, there can be many negative consequences. Forgoing an IT roadmap or inadequately scoping one out can lead to spiraling costs, operational inefficiencies, and skill or resources gaps.

If you are considering digitally transforming your internal systems and processes, poor IT planning has the potential to lead to choosing the wrong solutions and vendors and ending up with a tech stack that isn’t fully aligned to long-term or short-term business goals. Early strategic investment in a future-proof and detailed IT roadmap is one step in ensuring your IT department can take advantage of opportunities as well as anticipate unexpected obstacles. But where should you start?

5 tips to futureproof your IT roadmap

Knowing how to ensure your IT roadmap is robust and adaptable to future trends, unforeseen needs and opportunities is key to keeping your IT systems flexible and agile without having to make large investments and changes to core technologies further down the line.

Here are our five tips to futureproof your IT roadmap:

1. Conduct an information system audit

Conducting regular information systems audits is good practice. Reviewing your IT systems, processes, management, applications, operations, and data can ensure your security levels are optimal and reveal what your current capabilities are and where best to invest in the future. An information systems audit process should follow these stages:

  • Establish your objectives and business priorities
  • Collect data on relevant IT controls
  • Run data extraction tests or full software analysis
  • Check for compliance issues
  • Evaluate and report findings

2. Consider engaging a technology consultancy

There are a wide range of technology consultancy models available to suit all types of businesses, digital transformation projects, and budgets. Finding the right kind of consultancy for your business needs can be critical to the overall success of your digital transformation and its ability to adapt to changing market needs in the future.

Smaller, agile technology consultants, like Fruition Consulting, can support your IT roadmap from planning, implementation, and ongoing management stages on an outcomes-based approach. That means having an adaptable outlook on how to achieve the needs of your digital transformation and designing an IT roadmap to meet those needs. This is typically one of the best ways to ensure your IT roadmap results in the desired business outcomes as agile solutions can be adopted and adapted to in order to meet any unforeseen obstacles that may arise throughout the project.

3. Look for places to automate

Automating specific IT functions can help speed up those processes, make your employees more productive, save money and allow you to deploy those resources more effectively. IT automation can involve automating individual, one-off tasks or be broader in scope. Look for areas that lend themselves to automation such as cloud environments, help desks, DevOps, configuration, and security processes. Start small by identifying clusters of processes to automate and build on your successes.

4. Anticipate trends

Any successful business knows how to anticipate consumer and market trends that will affect its ability to function, and this should include technology trends. Below are three current tech trends you should be aware of:

  • Cloud

Moving away from large data centres to flexible and scalable cloud infrastructure is one of the top technology trends in recent years. Companies of all sizes are undergoing cloud transformations, but cloud technology is not static. Deciding what type of cloud services you require should be foremost in your mind, would IaaS, PaaS or SaaS be most effective, and you should be aware of new types of cloud architecture?

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & machine learning

Emerging AI and machine learning technology promises greater advancements in automation and decision making. However, the challenge is to find use-cases where your business will truly benefit from their application.

  • Application Programming Interface (API) connectivity

APIs connect apps and data systems, making sure data is accessible to those users and systems that need it. Greater API connectivity and tiered API architecture can make your IT systems more agile, enable easy access to data and prevent data silos.

5. Assess internal skill sets and identify any skills gaps

Once you’ve considered your IT systems, applications and data processes in your roadmap planning, you should also think about your employees and management processes. Your technology teams are critical to ensuring your digital transformation’s smooth-running and maintenance. Do you have the skills and expertise required to make the most of the technology you plan to incorporate? If the answer is no, you may need to hire to fill those gaps.

Ready to build an IT roadmap that’s fit for purpose now and in the future?

Fruition Consulting provides the digital expertise you need to help your business thrive. We make it our mission to help you understand your business priorities and translate them into a tangible digital transformation strategy. Our associate network of 200+ specialists will support and guide you on that journey, find solutions to whatever challenges you face and make the complex straightforward.

Through our sister company, Fruition IT, we can also ensure that our outcomes-based approach is sensitive to the skills and expertise available in your local talent market, allowing you to shape an IT roadmap you can maintain, enhance and develop for years to come.

Connect with us to discuss your technology needs.