It’s that time of year – a time to reflect on another year gone and prepare for the next 12 months. Are you prepared with a technology roadmap for the upcoming year? Or are you feeling a hangover from last year’s failed road trip? Customer expectations are steadily increasing across an array of industries; coinciding with customer satisfaction, technology increases as well. This affords us with some very powerful and customizable tools and applications as they become more accessible to a wider public. Every business aims to embrace trends for success, e.g. automate a routine task to be completed in a shorter amount of time and your operations will thank you for it. Yet, to accomplish this, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive technology roadmap to adequately leverage engineering in pursuit of those business goals.
What is a technology roadmap exactly?
A technology roadmap is a flexible framework to support strategic and long-term planning, by assigning actionable goals with specific technology solutions. A technology roadmap is a key piece of bolstering success and growth, like expanding your services or making org-wide modifications. Just like you need a business plan to keep you on course, you’ll want to reassess your processes annually (or even more frequently) to better align a technology plan to reflect changes you’ve made or want to make.
And how would a technology roadmap help?
Choosing the right engineering can play a significant role in the overall success of a business. The digital transformation and its new technologies have created different avenues and challenges, essentially transforming consumer experiences, operating models and business landscape. But change is a necessary evil as your operations grow and adapt – there may be hurdles to overcome, but it’s a welcome sign that your business is evolving rather than remaining stagnant. A solid technology roadmap will help to facilitate success as it lays the foundation to:
- Fast-track organizational growth
- Optimize operational efficiency
- Ensure maximum utilization
- Increase Speed to Market
- Faster (and greater) ROI
Identifying Roadmap Milestones
How do you know if your technology solutions may no longer be adequate? Those “tried and true” (but older solutions) might not support your current business goals or even a future transition. If so, it’s time to do some strategic technology planning. The path to improvement is rarely easy to navigate, especially in tech, but it’s imperative to adapt with its rapidly evolving processes and standards. Planning and focus, along with a qualified team behind you, will only serve to fuel success in the upcoming year. Not sure where to start or how to prioritize? Consider these tips for better defining the path of your next technology roadmap:
- Have a look in the mirror.
Repeated. Systematic. Refinement. An introspective look at your operations is essential for understanding where a business can growth or where you may be falling short. This understand can help to craft objectives to ensure a company’s overall growth, whether that is managing, improving, or refining a process flow to eliminate tasks that add no value such as wasted time and/or actions, overproduction of inventory, customer service issues and delays, duplicative efforts or unnecessary steps, or even just errors that cause re-work. And consider delegating that grunt work. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation aren’t replacing humans, they’re complementing our soft skills and performing tedious work, like repetitive tasks and handling routine scenarios. Machines amplify our soft skills and help to drive productivity previously never thought possible.
- Find Innovation in Renovation.
In mobile and web application development, especially for startups, having a product-focused mindset is critical to success, but you can’t just stop at the minimum viable product (MVP) stage. There’s always room for Quality Assurance to refine, test, and strengthen an existing product or service. While it’s smart to maintain a focus on user expectations to drive revenue, reinvest that revenue revenue in upgrades, streamlining for scale, or risk mitigation. The return on investment in Quality Assurance will show an increases in customer trust for your commitment to quality, reliability and security. Before or after release, make sure that Quality Assurance is a passenger on your roadmapping journey.
- Help Anyone become an Analyst.
Think that data analytics is too advanced for your business? What about gaining insights to help with making those tough decisions? How confident would you be in your decision-making process if you knew the answers were data-driven? Use trends, correlations, and other insight data illustrated to optimize business operations and improve customer satisfaction. Data visualization allows on-demand access to huge amounts of complex and often never previously collected data, but in easily digestible visuals. Creation of custom report or dashboards can help your business gain insight faster and communicate information more clearly and efficiently to your users. In terms of operations, it simplifies the process of communication with tools that go far beyond the capabilities of spreadsheets, without requiring specialized training. Consider how adding data visualization to your technology roadmap can help to make your data actionable.
- Appreciate the art of UX/UI.
Pause and take a hard look at what your customers truly want and how they interact with your business. There’s immeasurable value in discovering what a user finds most important in terms of engagement. Listen to their feedback, weigh the victories with the hurdles and make improvements. Innovation doesn’t happen if you’re satisfied with the status quo – there’s always room to optimize user experience through technology. It might be common sense, but even small modifications toward a more seamless experience will help you stay a step ahead of the competition while increasing delivering value to your clients. But don’t stop there, it’s imperative to continue to stay current on customers want and needs and how your particular industry is changing. Trust us – accounting for an investment in user experience will pay huge dividends to strengthening adoption and improving internal and external customer satisfaction.
So, what’s my next move?
If your business is struggling with determining what technology is strategic to your business objectives, contact Rivers Agile to help you in targeting software solutions for short-, and long-term planning. Our expert team can help you realize how a strategic technology roadmap can be keystone for not only product development, but operational or financial betterment of your organization. Contact Us today!