rnspoekfsn000222Its 2018 already, for most businesses, December is a time to wrap-up the business year to commence a new one, while for others it is a time to make effective and adequate preparation for the year ahead. A new year brings with it new business possibilities for business growth, opportunities to tap into as well as challenges to overcome to break new grounds; what better way to dive into the new year and grow your business aggressively than a well-structured and laid out plan for the new year.

Technology is everything; the success of your business is proportional to what technology you use, and the ones you fail to incorporate into your business. To get properly set for 2018 is to generate a well-thought out technology roadmap for your business, a better customer feedback system and well laid out plans for product releases. This article promises to leave you properly informed and equipped on how to go about improving your organization’s technology investment, and prep you for an exhilarating business year.

What is a technology roadmap?

A technology roadmap provides key information which helps businesses make better decisions around technology; it is a plan on how the organization intends to reach short-term and long-term goals using tech products/services and solutions.

Put very simple, a technology roadmap is a detailed description of how you want to use technology for specific business operation/unit, which technology to use (enhance existing ones, build new ones or purchase from custom products designers) and when to deploy it as well as why and how it will affect your business.

How do you develop a technology roadmap?

A technology roadmap highlights the technology that are currently available and used in the organization, and shows the improvements that are slated to be introduced with timelines. This is after a proper review of your business is done and all points of inefficiencies and needed improvement are identified.

Developing an IT roadmap involves creating a time structured map of which technology to implement or enhance and why; this is done with your short-term and long-term business goals as the center e.g. technology X will be introduced to help enhance product testing to achieve your long-term goal of being the market quality standard. Technology Y is an emerging technology in your industry and using it will put you in the vanguard of your competition. The process of developing a technology roadmap always involves key stakeholders; managers, engineering, sales, product and project management, operations and finances as well as legal.

How will a technology roadmap set you up for 2018?

As businesses begin to understand their technology needs, what they have, emerging technologies and the possible options open to them, they can use a technology roadmap to ascertain which tech to go after, as well as the timelines of implementing new systems.

The sole use of technology roadmap is to ensure that technology investments meets the short-term and long-term goals of the business, help them maximize returns from investment and mitigate risks that may be attached to a given technology beforehand.

Better interactions with customers

This is a key area to plan for the new year; there is no more accurate source of data for improving your services as those obtained from customer feedbacks. Having an efficient customer feedback loop is pivotal to the success of your business this year. Do you have a channel that helps you receive feedbacks from your customers, rate your product and make suggestions?

Tracking these data is very important to identity the key areas where improvement is needed, so a very efficient feedback and customer response system has to be implemented in your business this year.

Releasing a new product, feature or improvement

Have a new product planned to roll out this year? This is the time to start putting proper plans in place. What marketing strategy you will use, what market penetration strategy you will implement etc.

A successful business year is not a gift nor is it obtained by mere desires or wishes, it is a product of efficient planning and hard work in executing laid out plans.