In our previous blog on the CEO’s Technology Strategy Framework, we talked a lot about a Strategic Technology Roadmap and what it can do for your organization. In this blog, we want to further the conversation and dive deeper into the Strategic Technology Roadmap – read along to learn more!
What is a CEO’s Technology Strategy Roadmap?
A CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap provides a simple, easy-to-understand bird eye view of your technology requirements. It identifies the gap between your technology capabilities and technology requirements to achieve the growth and sustainability of your business. It also identifies any technology redundancy and helps you avoid overspent on technologies.
The CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap should include the Technology Strategy Framework, consisting of 7 elements (security, infrastructure, core business applications, departmental applications, productivity, brand experience, and insights & automation), the current state of each of the 7 elements visible via a 4-star rating, and a list of must-do, should-do, and could-do recommendations, as well as a potential timeline and required investment for each recommendation.
How do you create your CEO Strategic Technology Roadmap?
The first step in putting together your CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap is to conduct an interview with your organization’s CEO and other senior leaders to get a good view of the current technology capabilities and business objectives of your organization. The second step is to identify gaps, based on the interview, between “here’s where my technology sits” and “here’s where I want to go”. The third step is to create a list of recommendations, timeline, and required investment for each of those recommendations.
Here are some of the questions we encourage CEO’s and senior leaders to ask themselves during the interview process:
- Does your business consider itself as a technology leader, a follower, or a laggard? If you think your business is a follower or a laggard, what do you think the reasons are for that delay in adopting and embracing technology?
- Is your technology enabling strategic growth? If so, in what ways is it enabling strategic growth?
- Where is your business going and where do you see your business in the next 2 to 3 years? Are your current technology capabilities able to support your 2 to 3 year vision? Will your technology take your business where it needs to go?
From our experience working with various organizations, there is almost always a gap between the current state of the business and its desired future state. A Strategic Technology Roadmap, therefore, clearly identifies this gap, and helps organizations see what needs to be done to close it.
What does a CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap entail?
The way we, at ProServeIT, present “what needs to be done to close the gap” is using a list of must-do, should-do, and could-do recommendations.
Things on the must-do list are things that either represent a significant risk to the business and need to be addressed immediately, or things where the return on investment is so immediate (even less than 9-12 months), that it makes perfect sense to spend the money and upgrade, because of how immediate the return is.
The should-do’s are things that are important for your organization to do, but require some intentional planning and/or budgeting before implementation. The Strategic Technology Roadmap, therefore, is a great opportunity to see where these should-do’s fit into the bigger picture.
The could-do’s are items that may be strategic, but perhaps aren’t as important to do at this exact moment. These could-do’s may become important in the future, so it’s best to schedule these items into your Strategic Technology Roadmap.
Why should a CEO have a Strategic Technology Roadmap?
A CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap helps CEOs make smart decisions when it comes to their technology investment, and provides CEOs and their leadership teams with much-needed guidance. A Strategic Technology Roadmap is critical for the sustainability and growth of any business because it helps CEOs to:
- Invest in the necessary technologies.
- Avoid overspend and redundancy.
- Efficiently manage the investment, deployment, and adoption of the new technologies.
Let’s compare your organization’s technology strategy to a house. When you want to renovate your house, you have two options:
- You could knock the house down and start all over; or
- You can work on one or few room(s) at a time.
In business, the first option is usually not feasible. There aren’t many opportunities for a company to erase all their existing technology investments, raze it to the ground, and start all over again. So, we typically need to think of our technology investments in a modular capacity.
The second option – approaching the renovation room by room – is what works better for most businesses. If the foundation of your “house” is not solid, you need to work on that first, before you work on the “rooms” of your house. Assuming the foundation of your “house” is sound, then you want to choose the most critical “room” to start with. This room is critical to work on because there is damage or because it is the most-used room by the family.
Most businesses leverage 70 or more applications/technologies. Each room of your Technology Strategy Framework gets quite crowded when you insert all the applications and technologies used within your organization!
Just the way a renovation can become overwhelming, strategic investment in technologies can be overwhelming to CEOs and their leadership team. The Strategic Technology Roadmap is what provides CEOs and their leadership team the necessary guidance to ensure this “renovation” goes off smoothly, seamlessly, and, more important, properly.
How to start building your own Technology Strategy Framework?
The CEOs and executive teams we've worked with have found a brainstorming session helpful and essential to building their Technology Strategy Framework. We designed our Technology Roadmap Lite specifically for CEOs and C-suite executives to help them brainstorm the various elements of a Technology Strategy Framework.
When you book your own Technology Roadmap Lite for CEOs, you'll receive a personalized Technology Strategy Framework for your organization, plus a ranking for each of the rooms based on your current state. We’ll also provide a list of must-do, should-do, and could-do recommendations to improve your technology framework, and suggested timelines and investment requirements for each recommendation.