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It’s planning season again, and by this time of year, most organizations have taken at least a first pass at their 2013 budgets. For the average IT organization, the outlook is decidedly bleaker than it was in 2012. CEB’s 2013 IT benchmarking survey shows budgets increasing 1.8% on average, about one-half of this year’s rate.

Conservative budgets are putting increased pressure on IT executives to carefully roadmap their technology deployments and ensure that precious discretionary dollars are getting the best returns. When done right, roadmaps are uniquely powerful collaboration and decision support tools that align technology choices to business objectives, govern technology selection, and guide project portfolio prioritization.

In addition, the financial benefits of roadmapping are substantial. Our research on organizations with IT budgets over $75 million shows that high-quality roadmapping delivers up to 10% returns through a combination of time savings, reduced operating costs, and better investment decisions. In these tight times, those are meaningful savings for any executive.

The unfortunate reality in many IT organizations, however, is that roadmapping is either insufficiently mature or highly decentralized. According to a CEB survey, 70% of IT executives expressed dissatisfaction with their roadmapping activities. The result is a technology portfolio that costs more than it should, is poorly aligned with business strategy, and quickly turns into “shelfware.”

In response to clients’ frustrations with existing methods, CEB developed a new solution for creating, visualizing, and executing on IT roadmaps: IT Roadmap Builder. This cloud-based decision support tool enables organizations to plan efficiently, budget appropriately, and ultimately reduce risk inside and outside the IT organization. 

Users say one of IT Roadmap Builder’s key advantages is that it provides a systematic and repeatable framework at each stage in the roadmapping process—creation, validation, communication, execution, and refresh.

  • Creation—Develop consistent roadmaps with less effort. Data can be uploaded easily from Excel or dragged and dropped into your roadmap using our pre-populated library.
  • Validation—Ensure your roadmap is accurate by deploying our out-of-the-box survey tool to collect feedback on technology value and risk from subject matter experts throughout your organization. Use benchmarking data from hundreds of leading organizations to compare your technology adoption plans to peers’ at the click of a button.
  • Communication—Utilize unique roadmap visualizations, all of which can be captured as PDFs or PowerPoint documents for use in presentations or blown up into poster-sized images. Take advantage of our “tagging” feature to customize roadmaps for specific audiences.
  • Execution—Take action to reduce risk and reprioritize the project portfolio. Use our Retirement Risk Matrix to choose technologies to retire based on their business impact and likelihood of failure. Map dependencies between technologies to understand the impact of changes on the project portfolio. 
  • Refresh—Keep roadmaps up to date and aligned with vendor plans. Delegate roadmap maintenance by creating management groups and granting administrative rights to others in the organization. Subscribe to our database of over 500,000 vendor technologies to receive automated alerts when technologies in your portfolio risk losing support. 

IT Roadmap Builder’s “Bulls-Eye View”

IT executives who have made IT Roadmap Builder part of their leadership toolkit have successfully reduced unnecessary cost, saved time, and significantly improved collaborative decision-making with their business partners.

To request a product demonstration or to learn more about how IT Roadmap Builder can improve your plan for 2013, visit www.itroadmapbuilder.com.

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Credit: CEB

Tagged: Computing, Business, Communications, Web, cloud computing, information technology, cloud infrastructure

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