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Digital Roadmap

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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 an important part of deciding on 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.

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

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60+ pages full of information about roadmapping and especially product roadmap: what is it, how to create a product roadmap, types of roadmaps, prioritization and tips on how to communicate with stakeholders effectively using roadmaps.

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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.

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