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Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap

Building a strategic infrastructure roadmap is a business-driven exercise, not just a technical one.

Getting a seat at the table is your first objective in building a strategic roadmap. Knowing what the business wants to do and understanding what it will need in the future is a challenge for most IT departments.

This could be a challenge such as:

  • Understanding the business vision
  • Clear communications on business planning
  • Insight into what the future state should look like
  • Understanding what the IT team is spending its time on day to day

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Having a clear vision of what the future state is and knowing that creating an IT Infrastructure roadmap is never finished will give your IT team an understanding of priorities, goals, business vision, and risks associated with not planning.
  • Understand what you are currently paying for and why.

Impact and Result

  • Understanding of the business priorities, and vision of the future
  • Know what your budget is spent on: running the business, growth, or innovation
  • Increased communication with the right stakeholders
  • Better planning based on analysis of time study, priorities, and business goals


Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap Research & Tools

1. Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap Storyboard – Improve and align goals and strategy.

In this section you will develop a vision and mission statement and set goals that align with the business vision and goals. The outcome will deliver your guiding principles and a list of goals that will determine your initiatives and their priorities.

2. Financial Spend Analysis Template – Envision future and analyze constraints.

Consider your future state by looking at technology that will help the business in the future. Complete an analysis of your past spending to determine your future spend. Complete a SWOT analysis to determine suitability.

3. Strategic Roadmap Initiative Template – Align and build the roadmap.

Develop a risk framework that may slow or hinder your strategic initiatives from progressing and evaluate your technical debt. What is the current state of your infrastructure? Generate and prioritize your initiatives, and set dates for completion.

4. Infrastructure and Strategy Executive Brief Template – Communicate and improve the process.

After creating your roadmap, communicate it to your audience. Identify who needs to be informed and create an executive brief with the template download. Finally, create KPIs to measure what success looks like.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.6/10


Overall Impact

$110,619


Average $ Saved

21


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

JFK International Air Terminal

Guided Implementation

8/10

$5,000

20

John provided valuable experience and knowledge to this engagement that will allow my team to improve in the development of IT infrastructure moder... Read More

Ontario Legislative Assembly

Guided Implementation

10/10

$95,000

9

Zebra Technologies Corporation

Workshop

10/10

$129K

10

Best - effective facilitation - keeping the discussion constructive, capturing relevant notes, guiding us through when we got stuck. Best - buildi... Read More

HSS Enterprises Ltd c/o IKO

Guided Implementation

10/10

$100K

10

Government of the United States Virgin Islands

Workshop

10/10

$649K

N/A

The agency participants engaging in positive dialogue and having an open mind to the consolidation effort was the highlight of the workshop in my h... Read More

Government of Bermuda

Guided Implementation

10/10

$64,999

5

University of Johannesburg

Guided Implementation

9/10

$11,699

10

Sanlam Life Insurance Limited

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

10

Capacity analysis, overall bird's eye view of all the projects and initiatives within the department with clear timelines and overlaps between the ... Read More

Unity Homes, Inc

Guided Implementation

10/10

$7,000

10

Scott is an outstanding sounding board of support. He allowed me to talk about my concept of where I wanted to go with our infrastructure and then ... Read More

Albuquerque Public Schools

Workshop

9/10

$32,499

105

* Coming together as an executive with a great workshop lead. * We didn't complete the plan by the end of the wokrshop.

Debswana

Guided Implementation

10/10

$129K

N/A

- Service discontinuation and during account manager transition and the overhead during the turn of the year.

LPL Financial

Guided Implementation

10/10

$3,899

10

The suggestions and being open to review drafted processes and provide feedback

Turners and Growers

Guided Implementation

9/10

$85,999

35

Great to expose our team to this methodology, very clearly explained. I don't know if there is a way to get more engagement from the team members ... Read More

Wabtec Corp

Guided Implementation

9/10

$12,999

5

Overall guidance from experience with past use of the tools.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Guided Implementation

9/10

$2,599

5

expedient and easy to understand review of tool and how to use - quick process and more in-depth.


Workshop: Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Pre-Workshop: Elicit Business Context

The Purpose

  • Understand the business goals to align with IT goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Have a clear understanding of business priorities.
  • Align vision and mission.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Complete recommended diagnostic programs.

  • SWOT analysis of current state
1.2

Interview key business stakeholders, as needed, to identify business context: business goals, initiatives, and the organization’s mission and vision.

  • Goals cascade
1.3

(Optional) CIO to compile and prioritize IT success stories.

  • Persona analysis

Module 2: Align Strategy and Goals

The Purpose

  • Develop the infrastructure strategy.
  • Define your goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create a vision and mission statement.
  • Create a list of goals to achieve.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Review/validate the business context.

2.2

Construct your mission and vision statements.

  • Vision statement, mission statement, and guiding principles
2.3

Elicit your guiding principles and finalize IT strategy scope.

2.4

Intake identification and analysis.

2.5

Survey results analysis.

2.6

Brainstorm goals.

  • List of goals
2.7

Perform goal association and analysis.

Module 3: Envision Future and Analyze Constraints

The Purpose

  • Define your future state and analyze your constraints.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Have a clear understanding of what can prevent you from being successful in building your roadmap.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Conduct an emerging technology discussion.

3.2

Document desired future state.

3.3

Develop a new technology identification process.

3.4

Compete SWOT analysis.

3.5

Perform a historical spend analysis.

  • Spend analysis document
3.6

Conduct a time study.

  • Domain time study
3.7

Identify roadblocks.

  • Prioritized list of roadblocks

Module 4: Align and Build the Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Drive business alignment.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify platforms that have higher business and IT risk and prioritize initiatives.
  • Create roadmaps for both the short and long term that are aligned to your goals.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Develop a risk framework.

  • IT and business risk frameworks
4.2

Evaluate technical debt.

  • Technical debt assessment
4.3

Build effective initiative templates.

4.4

Visualize.

  • New technology analysis
4.5

Generate new initiatives.

  • Initiative templates
4.6

Repatriate shadow IT initiatives.

4.7

Finalize initiative candidates.

  • List of initiative candidates

Module 5: Communicate and Improve the Process

The Purpose

  • Communicate and present C-suite presentation on your roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Complete a visual representation of your roadmap and a strategy of when to communicate and what.

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Identify required authors and target audiences.

  • Roadmap visualization
5.2

Plan the process.

  • Process schedule
5.3

Identify supporters and blockers.

  • Communications strategy
5.4

Evaluate the value of each process output.

  • Process map
5.5

Brainstorm improvements.

5.6

Set realistic measures.


Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap

Align infrastructure investment to business-driven goals.

Analysts' Perspectives

Infrastructure roadmaps are an absolute necessity for all organizations. An organization's size often dictates the degree of complexity of the roadmap, but they all strive to paint the future picture of the organization's IT infrastructure.

Infrastructure roadmaps typically start with the current state of infrastructure and work on how to improve. That thinking must change! Start with the future vision, an unimpeded vision, as if there were no constraints. Now you can see where you want to be.

Look at your past to determine how you have been spending your infrastructure budget. If your past shows a trend of increased operational expenditures, that trend will likely continue. The same is true for capital spending and staffing numbers.

Now that you know where you want to go, and how you ended up where you are, look at the constraints you must deal with and make a plan. It's not as difficult as it may seem, and even the longest journey begins with one step.

Speaking of that first step, it should be to understand the business goals and align your roadmap with those same goals. Now you have a solid plan to develop a strategic infrastructure roadmap; enjoy the journey!

There are many reasons why you need to build a strategic IT infrastructure roadmap, but your primary objectives are to set the long-term direction, build a framework for decision making, create a foundation for operational planning, and be able to explain to the business what you are planning. It is a basis for accountability and sets out goals and priorities for the future.

Other than knowing where you are going there are four key benefits to building the roadmap.

  1. It allows you to be strategic and transformative rather than tactical and reactive.
  2. It gives you the ability to prioritize your tasks and projects in order to get them going.
  3. It gives you the ability to align your projects to business outcomes.
  4. Additionally, you can leverage your roadmap to justify your budget for resources and infrastructure.

When complete, you will be able to communicate to your fellow IT teams what you are doing and get an understanding of possible business- or IT-related roadblocks, but overall executing on your roadmap will demonstrate to the business your competencies and ability to succeed.

PJ Ryan

PJ Ryan
Research Director
Infrastructure & Operations Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

John Donovan

John Donovan
Principal Research Director
Infrastructure & Operations Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

Build a Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap

Align infrastructure investment to business-driven goals.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

When it comes to building a strategic roadmap, getting a seat at the table is your first objective. Knowing what the business wants to do and understanding its future needs is a challenge for most IT organizations.

Challenges such as:

  • Understanding the business vision
  • Clear communications on business planning
  • Insight into what the future state should look like

Common Obstacles

Fighting fires, keeping the lights on, patching, and overseeing legacy debt maintenance – these activities prevent your IT team from thinking strategically and looking beyond day-to-day operations. Issues include:

  • Managing time well
  • Building the right teams
  • Setting priorities

Procrastinating when it comes to thinking about your future state will get you nowhere in a hurry.

Info-Tech's Approach

Look into your past IT spend and resources that are being utilized.

  • Analyze all aspects of the operation, and resources required.
  • Be realistic with your timelines.
  • Work from the future state backward.

Build your roadmap by setting priorities, understanding risk and gaps both in finance and resources. Overall, your roadmap is never done, so don't worry if you get it wrong on the first pass.

Info-Tech Insight

Have a clear vision of what the future state is, and know that when creating an IT infrastructure roadmap, it is never done. This will give your IT team an understanding of priorities, goals, business vision, and risks associated with not planning. Understand what you are currently paying for and why.

Insight Summary

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now."
Source: Alan Lakein, Libquotes

Your strategic objectives are key to building a roadmap

Many organizations' day-to-day IT operations are tactical and reactive. This needs to change; the IT team needs to become strategic and proactive in its planning and execution. Forward thinking bridges the gap from your current state, to what the organization is, to what it wants to achieve. Your strategic objectives need to align to the business vision and goals and keep it running.

Your future state will determine your roadmap priorities

Identify what the business needs to meet its goals; this should be reflected in your roadmap priorities. Then identify the tasks and projects that can get you there. Business alignment is key, as these projects require prioritization. Strategic initiatives that align to business outcomes will be your foundation for planning on those priorities. If you do not align your initiatives, you will end up spinning your wheels. A good strategic roadmap will have all the elements of forward thinking and planning to execute with the right resources, right priorities, and right funding to make it happen.

Understand what you have been paying for the last few years

Measure the cost of "keeping the lights on" as a baseline for your budget that is earmarked and already spent. Determine if your current spend is holding back innovation due to:

  1. The high cost of maintenance
  2. Resources in operations doing low-value work due to the effort required to do tasks related to break/fix on aging hardware and software

A successful strategic roadmap will be determined when you have a good handle on your current spending patterns and planning for future needs that include resources, budget, and know-how. Without a plan and roadmap, that plan will not get business buy-in or funding.

Building a strategic infrastructure roadmap is a business-driven exercise, not just a technical one.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

9.6/10
Overall Impact

$110,619
Average $ Saved

21
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 5-phase advisory process. You'll receive 11 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Executive Briefing
  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.

Guided Implementation 2: Align strategy and goals
  • Call 1: Define mission, vision statements, and guiding principles to discuss strategy scope.
  • Call 2: Brainstorm goals and definition.

Guided Implementation 3: Envision future and analyze constraints
  • Call 1: Conduct a spend analysis and a time resource study.
  • Call 2: Identify roadblocks.

Guided Implementation 4: Align and build the roadmap
  • Call 1: Develop a risk framework and address technical debt.
  • Call 2: Identify new initiatives and SWOT analysis.
  • Call 3: Visualize and identify initiatives.
  • Call 4: Complete shadow IT and initiative finalization.

Guided Implementation 5: Communicate and improve the process
  • Call 1: Identify your audience and communicate.
  • Call 2: Improve the process.

Authors

John Donovan

P.J. Ryan

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