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Digital Roadmap


Digital Roadmap Definition

A digital roadmap is a blueprint for your future business. It should outline your objectives over the short and long term and connect the digital initiatives needed to achieve these. Ideally, it should detail how to convert your business's vision into an actionable plan that mitigates risk while increasing profitability. Also referred to as a digital transformation or strategy roadmap, the digital roadmap is a critical part of any business. Usually, the roadmap will fill the gap between the high-level strategy and the detailed execution plan, creating a flow from vision to implementation.

Why are digital roadmaps important?

Digital transformation roadmaps are a form of planning, and planning to meet your business objectives is essential. How will you know what to implement without a proper framework that allows for flexibility?

To start, it’s a good idea to understand where your business is and where you want it to be. Then map out how you plan on getting there. You will need to make a few assessments and fundamental decisions to create an effective and transformative digital roadmap for your business. These include:

Future State Operating Model

First, understand your current operations and optimize any processes needed to meet your future state. Then you can start to match technology solutions to these requirements.

The magnitude of change versus magnitude of risk

It is essential to assess how much change your business can sustain when factored against the risk of making that change.

Customization levels

This step combines your operational knowledge with an understanding of what different technology solutions are capable of. Map out which areas need custom solutions and which can fit into out-the-box offerings.

Single system versus best of breed

Related to customization, you will need to decide on your Enterprise Resource System (ERP software). You will need to understand which parts of your business can be accommodated by a single, core ERP, and which parts would be better suited to a best-of-breed solution. 

Enterprise systems versus niche solutions

What type of software solutions and which implementation partner is best suited to your business is a critical decision. This can be determined by considering:

  • Company culture versus software partner culture and solutions

  • Is the technology-focused at an industry or business function level?

Data migration

Your data migration plan is important in deciding which technology solution you will need. Consider how this data migration will be supported by your new ecosystem.

Change Management Strategy

Consider the impact of the technological changes on the people in your business and what training and processes will need to be implemented to facilitate the change.

Solutions architecture and integration process

The solution's architecture is a critical document that will combine your current state with the vision for your business's future processes and applications. Key to this is the integration process because this affects data migration.


Roadmapping From A to Z

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How to create a digital roadmap

When setting your digital roadmap in stone, you have lots of options. 

You could use existing tools like Excel, PowerPoint, or straightforward PDFs — but this can quickly become laborious and time-consuming. In addition, because these tools aren’t specialized, there’s a higher chance you’ll make mistakes or have trouble collaborating.

Instead, using the right tool for the right job is always best. In this case, airfocus is an excellent tool for creating a digital roadmap. As mentioned above, handy features like a drag-and-drop interface, customizable views, and seamless collaboration makes airfocus the ideal choice for digital roadmaps. 

Elements of an effective digital roadmap in product management

Just like a great recipe, no digital roadmap is complete without the perfect ingredients. 

With that in mind, here are the elements you should include to ensure a smooth road ahead for your business.

Your vision for the company

The vision is all about your goals. You’re setting your stall out immediately by explicitly listing the measurable and strategic goals your digital roadmap will help you achieve. As always, it’s a good idea to use SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

The timeline

Your roadmap won’t mean much if it has no scope. That’s why you should define a timeline for each initiative within your digital transformation roadmap. As you do this, be sure to consider dependencies and resource constraints — the last thing you want to do is set a deadline that’s impossible to reach.

Key stakeholders

Regardless of the focus of your digital roadmap, as a long-term plan, it will always involve at least one (but usually many more) internal teams. When developing a digital roadmap, it’s essential to identify the key stakeholders who will be impacted by each initiative you plan to develop. 

The risks

It’s easy to avoid thinking about things that could go wrong, but identifying the potential risks and challenges your roadmap may face will help you overcome them if the worst should happen. Building a contingency plan now could be a game-changer later. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Your core success metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), should be selected so that you can judge the success (or the failure) of each of your digital initiatives.

Example: The digital marketing roadmap

One of the best things about the digital roadmap is its versatility. 

For example, consider digital marketing roadmaps. These can help a company plan and execute a laser-focused marketing strategy more effectively. 

Creating a digital marketing roadmap begins with defining your company’s objectives, then the identification of specific marketing initiatives which will help you achieve those goals. 

Your digital marketing roadmap can run the gamut of the marketing space (and that’s a lot of ground), but you might consider including:

  • Traffic acquisition

  • Brand awareness campaigns

  • Lead generation

  • Pay-Per-Click advertising

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

How to measure the success of a digital roadmap

Many businesses fail to set goals for their digital transformations, but setting clear targets and goals before you get started is the key to measuring the success of your digital roadmap. After all, targets and goals give you something to measure success against. 

KPIs are a great way to track success because they link the success of your digital roadmap to key business goals. Key KPIs to consider are cost savings, revenues, and customer and employee satisfaction. 

Keep track of your KPIs

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of digital transformation. But your transformation can slow down if you’re not tracking those key KPIs. 

Once you’ve picked the key metrics you want to measure success against, you should closely monitor your progress. Checking current work against your KPI goals will help you see if everything is going well or if you need to make some changes. 

If everything is on track, great! If not, take a step back and reassess your approach, even if it means altering the roadmap. 

Real-life examples of digital transformation roadmaps


The iconic toymaker’s digital transformation saw them enter the video game market, improve customer engagement with idea generation, and combine physical toys with virtual programs.


Disney’s digital transformation focused on content distribution, leading to the launch of Disney+. Alongside the streaming service, the entertainment giant introduced MagicBand within their theme parks to give customers a more personalized experience.


It seems odd to think of a tech giant like Microsoft undergoing a digital transformation, but they did just that with a shift beyond Windows OS. Microsoft went all in on cloud computing and gaming while making key acquisitions like LinkedIn and GitHub.


UPS had a series of challenges to overcome to remain a key contender in their sector, including environmental concerns and modernization needs. To do this, UPS focused on AI, automation, and big data analytics to power their digital transformation.


The majority of IKEA customers absolutely love the in-store experience, often making a full day out of visiting. Building on the success of their stores, IKEA has pushed forward with their digital transformation, furthering their reach. They have embraced augmented reality to accurately represent how their products will look within the customer’s homes, bringing that in-store experience to more people. 

Why should you use a dedicated roadmap tool to create your digital roadmap?

You could choose to use existing methods such as a combination of Excel, PowerPoint, and PDFs. However, this approach has many drawbacks. 

  • Manually compiling documentation is time-consuming and error-prone.

  • No real-time updates

  • Limited collaboration 

  • Potential security risks

In contrast, a dedicated roadmapping tool (like airfocus) will streamline this process. You can leverage a digital transformation roadmap template to get several benefits:

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface for adding information

  • Customizable views

  • Multi-team collaboration with version control

  • Facilitates aligning across the business 

  • Secure hosting


Roadmapping From A to Z

Read now
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airfocus eBook Roadmapping From A to Z
Digital Roadmap

General FAQ

What is a digital transformation roadmap?
A digital transformation roadmap is a framework that maps out the processes and technologies needed to move your business from its current position to an optimized future state. This blueprint should detail how to convert your business's vision into an actionable plan that factors risk and optimizes return on investment.
What's the best way to create a digital roadmap?
The most effective way to create a digital transformation roadmap is by using a dedicated tool like airfocus. You could use a combination of existing tools like Excel, PowerPoint, or PDFs, but this will be manual, time-consuming, and error-prone. Using custom roadmapping software is more efficient, collaborative, and secure.
airfocus eBook Roadmapping From A to Z
Roadmapping From A to Z
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