Project Description

Why an IT roadmap must be part of YOUR organisational planning

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Bit of a mind bender that wee statement, but it sums up the state of IT for most New Zealand small to medium businesses. The thing is, while IT is as necessary to your operations as electricity and water, there very often isn’t any sort of plan for it.

The technology tends towards seat of the pants stuff driven by the ‘number 8 wire’ mentality which, to be fair, many of us have grown up with.

But here’s the thing. While you have done ‘just fine’ with that approach, there’s potentially a lot you’re missing out on. And then there’s the rather pressing question of cybersecurity, too.

Dan Roscouet | CodeBlue NZ

Dan Roscouet – Business Development Manager

I’m going to explain why, at CodeBlue, we start every managed services engagement with a detailed analysis of your environment, and the creation of a technology roadmap specific to your organisation. This takes your technology from tactical and reactive, to planned, budgeted, costed, and strategic. It’s a ‘futureproofing’ approach unique to CodeBlue which we believe is essential. A roadmap lets your organisation review which IT technologies actually have merit, when it’s best to implement and what cost is acceptable. It also helps avoid shiny object syndrome – tech which look great, but aren’t suitable or necessary. The result is better Business as Usual today, improved risk mitigation, and an efficiency boost into the future.

Understanding your business

To get you where you need to be, the first step is to know your business. This includes getting to know your line of business; not just what you do, but how. This is essential context for determining where technology can help. It’s also essential that we know what you already have in place ‘tech-wise’. We can then manage it effectively, optimising where necessary (who hasn’t paid for software features that’s never used?). We’ll also retire components no longer cutting the mustard for any number of reasons (among them cost, utility, security risk, obsolescence).

This initial engagement phase is typically conducted over several weeks. We describe it as a forensic investigation, as we put a magnifying glass across your entire technology landscape and operational environment. The process helps identify risks and opportunities. We ‘whiteboard’ with you, asking where you’re going in terms of organisational ambitions in the short, medium and long terms.

Crucially, while we’re here to sort out the technology and get it working best for you, the discussion itself isn’t technical. We prefer connecting and talking about organisational purpose and goals. We then get the technology to enable and support – and deliver a competitive advantage, where possible!

Designed for your organisation

So, what does your tech roadmap look like? In a word, it is a document. In more words, it is a working document detailing the present state (as a result of the forensic investigation) and setting a strategic direction for your IT. The roadmap also sets budgets and plans to move towards the desired (and agreed) future state with no surprises. Our approach provides a 3-year forecast, with an annual reassessment, along with detailed quarterly reports. The plan includes costs, ready for the CFO to take into the boardroom, so every IT dollar can be assessed against the value delivered.

The scheduled periodic reassessment is important for many reasons. Technology changes rapidly, and so too does the macro-economic environment. Your organisation and its priorities are bound to change, too. The review reflects on performance and achievements to date, tracks progress and any issues, and reassesses direction.

Of course, service delivery takes place constantly. At CodeBlue, we make service delivery a friendly, engaging experience. That means we’re always looking at what you’re doing, how we’re doing, and what’s happening in the tech space. That means developments to your roadmap is an ongoing, iterative process. There is constant analysis and advocacy from our people, as they work together with yours. When the formal review rolls around, there aren’t any surprises, in other words.

From reactive to proactive

The best IT is invisible. And the most effective IT service providers are the ones who don’t seem to be doing much at all. This is the state everyone wishes their tech was in – because it ‘just works’. A roadmap (combined with an efficient and effective managed service provider like CodeBlue) is fundamental to achieving this happy situation.

I’ve mentioned security; cybersecurity is a big deal which isn’t going away. The risks are real, present, and expensive if not managed appropriately. When your IT is reactive and arbitrary, it’s guaranteed there are known and unknown risks present. You’re a sitting duck. If anything happens, chances are it comes as a complete surprise, as does the response.

This is a microcosm of why a roadmap and a cybersecurity plan are so important. Every aspect of your IT should be clear and detailed. This means change, development, upgrade cycles, even outages, are planned and executed with precision. The IT should serve you, not the other way around. Moving to a proactive stance, based on best practices takes out the guesswork, eliminates surprises and delivers consistent value from every dollar spent.

So, it all comes down to a question: Do you have a roadmap for your IT? If not, it may be time to engage with a service provider like CodeBlue. We’re ready for your call.