A wise man once said that a company is only as good as its technology.

And while this may have raised an eyebrow a few years ago, these are words to live by. In a world dominated by digital, businesses need a strong technological infrastructure not to survive — let alone thrive! It’s here that a technology roadmap, sometimes known as an IT roadmap, is worth its weight in gold. At a high level, a technology roadmap is a strategic plan listing all the technological initiatives a company is leveraging. The roadmap lists which tech solutions are available to teams right now and which will be coming up in the future.

Most importantly, a technology roadmap is a living document, meaning it’s reactive to the changing conditions of a business. For example, if one of your cloud-based service providers goes kaput overnight: your roadmap would need to change to reflect the search for (and implementation of) the new provider.

Technology roadmaps can be as in-depth as you want them to be, but they’re far more than a simple list of applications and IT solutions.

The technology roadmap is often a useful way to track and align the overall strategic goals of a company. As the needs of the business change to reflect its direction, so too will the IT roadmap. This ensures the technological infrastructure is always there to support. 


Who can use a technology roadmap?


You’d be forgiven for assuming that technology roadmaps are only suitable for companies in highly technical industries. But in reality, they’re pretty handy for almost any business. After all, with online sales in the US predicted to reach 4.8 trillion dollars by the year 2021, technology needs to be at the heart of all modern businesses. And a technology roadmap essentially sets the stage for any of a company’s digital operations. Whether it’s managing your customers and prospects with a CRM system, or deploying a new cloud-based email system to all employees — every one of these activities can (and should) be listed and prioritized on your technology roadmap.

If you’ve ever had an employee ask when the next product update is due, or you’ve heard someone complaining that an internal system is slow or unreliable, a technology roadmap can deliver value.

Not only will this roadmap be the source of truth for the current state of the company’s tech infrastructure, but it’ll also provide reassurance as to what’s coming in the future. It is the best of both worlds.


Technology Roadmap tools:

A technology roadmap tool outlines the strategic objectives of a business and how it plans to evolve its offerings to reach set goals. There are many benefits that technology roadmap tools provide to teams and companies as a whole, these include:

   1. Aligning your team

Roadmaps are great for aligning your team on the mission, goals, and key technology deliverables for the year. This is especially true if you followed best practices and received their input before finalizing it.


   2. Positioning your tech product(s) and company

A technology roadmap clarifies what changes will be made to your overall technological infrastructure as you position your product(s) and company for the future. Positioning is all about clarifying how you compete in the market and differentiate yourself from competitors.


   3. Planning Resources

Once roadmap initiatives are defined, they can assist with steering discussions around projects and resources. If an initiative is suggested during the quarter then with the aid of the roadmap the discussion will be rightly centered around whether to modify resources to focus on this initiative or deprioritize it and stick to the roadmap.


   4. Internal communication tool

Roadmaps are great tools for internal communication because, with tools like airfocus, they can easily be shared with stakeholders. Rather than jumping on a call with each member of your customer success team to walk them through the roadmap, simply share a link to the roadmap with the entire team. If you decide to share your technology roadmap externally, with investors, for example, they can easily access it and view the content as needed.


Information technology roadmap examples


Also known as the IT Roadmap, the information technology roadmap examples outline a business’s strategy for its software and technology.

It can include a variety of information including, but not limited to:

  • Software updates
  • Infrastructure rollouts
  • Sunsetting old infrastructure
  • Migrating data
  • Disaster recovery plans
  • Security improvements
  • Compliance reviews
  • Release dates

and more
Information technology roadmaps are also useful for supporting market-facing products & strategic objectives of the business, especially as your IT team works closely with business departments to support their efficiency and maximize business value.


Along with communicating to your internal team how your company’s software and technology will evolve, it also assists your team with making the right decisions and tradeoffs related to your technology infrastructure.

There are various kinds of technology roadmaps such as architecture roadmaps, DevOps roadmaps, infrastructure roadmaps, and more. Having a specified roadmap for the various departments of your engineering team is beneficial for organization and collaboration.

You might be wondering why items such as deprecating old infrastructure or systems, and compliance reviews would be placed on this roadmap. This is because a technology roadmap is meant to align stakeholders on a specific course of action to either maintain and improve existing technology or adopt new ones. As Agile increases in popularity so does the importance of technology roadmaps. This is due to the increasing need for technology teams to be Agile as they manage their internal IT landscape as a product, not solely as an internal service.

Gartner predicts that “by 2023, approximately 40% of large enterprises will manage internal business capabilities as products to drive continuous innovation and competitive advantage.” For more on this topic check out our detailed guide on Internal Product Management in Digital Transformation.

Crafting a technology roadmap

Here are 5 specific steps that should be followed to craft a well-defined technology roadmap.


   1. Define goals


Technology is meant to support a business, its products, and teams. Due to this a  technology roadmap is not created in a silo from company or departmental goals.

Start by understanding the key goals that need to be accomplished for the company, departments, specific products, and why. This along with the expected value, effort, and feedback, will determine the initiatives that will make it onto the roadmap. This is where prioritization comes in and why it’s imperative to build this roadmap as a cross-functional activity with input from other teams.

   2. Assess current and future trends


Always keep a pulse on your market and emerging new technology.

As we write this article ChatGPT (Artificial Intelligence) is an emerging innovator in the software industry. Microsoft has kept a close eye on this space, is furthering its investments, and is modifying its technology to take advantage of this opportunity. They have integrated ChatGPT into Bing as they position themselves to take on Google to directly compete in the search space. They accomplished this by keeping their pulse on the market and modifying their technology accordingly.


   3. Gather stakeholder input


The technology roadmap should be crafted with input from multiple stakeholders, internal and external. Internal are those in your company, for example, your software engineers. External stakeholders may include technology partners that you work with. Stakeholders regularly provide feedback throughout the product lifecycle on areas of improvement. Also, expect feedback from members of your engineering team on how to improve your technology infrastructure.

Ensure that you have one central location store feedback as this list will be revisited to determine what to prioritize next. While stakeholders can share their thoughts, with limited resources and varying opinions, there must be one person, or group, who decides what makes it onto the roadmap and what gets deprioritized. Product and engineering leadership must work together to make this decision among competing priorities.


   4. Craft the roadmap


The template you use will be based on the type of technology roadmap you need, your audience, and your collaborators. Also, consider if it is for internal or external use. And if internal, if there are cross-functional collaborators.

This information determines the amount and type of information that will be shared on the roadmap and also assists with supporting its maintenance.

Your technology roadmap will have projects/initiatives, dates, and owners.

Members of the engineering team will have access to it as they collaborate to implement the items and communicate with other teams.

Broad timelines are beneficial for this technology transformation roadmap as internal stakeholders will want to know when these items will be released, especially if there are dependencies that need to be kept in mind. There is no standard view to use for a technology transformation roadmap. You can use a timeline view, item, board view, or even a chart view. It depends on the type and what you need to communicate.

There’s even a technology roadmap template that you can get started with.
All templates are fully customizable and built on proven roadmapping methods so that you can adapt them to your team(‘s) specific needs.

   5. Implement and monitor progress


The roadmap is meant to communicate what will be worked on in a given period to reach company goals. The details of how these items will work will be recorded elsewhere, for example in a tool like JIRA. Progress should be communicated as your team implements the work and the roadmap should be regularly reviewed and updated. One important thing to note is that a technology roadmap is not a static document that is set in stone once created.

If items on the roadmap are deprioritized or new items are added then make sure to update the roadmap and inform your key stakeholders so that they are aware. Especially since cross-functional team members may have work or items to complete based on this work. And there you have it, 5 easy steps to craft a well-defined technology roadmap.


Technology roadmap examples and use cases


As mentioned earlier, technology roadmaps can be used for many use cases, including sharing software updates, release dates, data migration plans, and security updates, and more. A good example of a technology roadmap is Microsoft’s 365 roadmap, where customers can get the latest updates on their best-in-class productivity apps and intelligent cloud services. Visitors can find details of new features, software releases, as well as security updates.

Though they include multiple products on this roadmap, the filter and search functionality make it easy to find the specific product or service you are looking for.

They even went the extra mile to let customers know which specific phase of the software development process the item is in (information generally kept internally), when it was previewed, and the expected release date.

GitHub also has a public technology roadmap for its customers.

It includes security updates, server updates, API updates, and more. Following best practices they placed the items into themes for easy understanding and navigation. It serves as a great resource for those who rely on their services for their software delivery process.

While GitHub used its tool to craft this roadmap, other companies use tools like Airfocus to craft, share, and update their roadmap.

Essential pieces of a product technology roadmap


Your product technology roadmap should articulate your product strategy so everyone, including different audiences with unique needs, understands it. Before diving into specifics, remember that what works for you may be unique to you and your organization. That’s why it’s critical to talk to everyone across your teams and ensure alignment on the best way to present this information.

We know rethinking how you approach the product technology roadmaps can be daunting. That’s why we’ve consolidated the best roadmap types that can help you communicate the why of your plan and the what and provide the right level of detail for your stakeholders.

Technology roadmap software

A technology software roadmap is a high-level overview of the software development process. It provides a view of planned deliverables and the sequence of a software product or project. Software roadmaps are used by product and engineering teams to visualize the short- and long-term solutions and initiatives needed to stay ahead of the market and launch new features. A technology software roadmap is a roadmap specifically for a software product


New shiny features are important and provide value for customers, however understanding how technology will evolve to continue supporting product and company goals is critical. This is why it is imperative to have a technology roadmap in place that clarifies how your technology will evolve and the changes you will make to align with business and product goals and take advantage of market opportunities and innovations. A technology roadmap is one of the classic ways to know which part of the business’s IT infrastructure or product development needs improvement.

This could be the need to enhance automation and increase app efficiency in the next update, create valuable discussion around the organization’s technology infrastructure, and craft ideas to make the technology better.A technology roadmap is also essential to understand what needs improvement in an organization and the strategic plans to go about it.



What is a Technology Roadmap?

A technology roadmap offers your company a bird’s eye view of your technology needs, enabling you to achieve your short and long-term commercial goals. It’s a governing document that reinforces your business strategy through your technology to secure your business’s direction.

Why is a Technology Roadmap Essential?

Companies use the technology roadmap to provide foresight into business needs. A technology roadmap also helps you act in the business’s best interest. There are many other reasons why you need a roadmap.

How Do You Make a Technology Roadmap?

The universal application of a tech roadmap is to define and document the internal IT system of an organization. It’s cliche to say you should visualize your goals, but that’s the purpose of a visual roadmap. And although it’s an evolving document, there’s still a proper way to approach it.



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