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The Key to Developing an IT Roadmap: The Grand Finale

By Laura Paoletti , JUNE 19, 2012 11:10 AM

1. Four Key Areas

Last week in How to Develop an Effective IT Roadmap we focused was on the first stage of developing the
IT Roadmap. This article delves deeply into the final steps for completing this task.
We left off at defining the four key areas where your strategic initiatives should fall into. The four buckets
consist of projects that Keep the Lights On, Revenue Generating projects, projects that provide
Efficiency Gains, and the last bucket is Operating Cost Reductions.
Each of the key areas is described below.
Final steps for completing an eff

Keep the Lights On (KTLO): These projects are necessary to keep the environment maintained.
Maintenance may include hardware and software upgrades, procedure and policy development, or
organization changes. These projects typically do not provide revenue opportunities but are necessary to
keep the environment operating effectively and efficiently.

Efficiency Gains: Projects that contain Efficiency Gains provide the opportunity for the organization to work more effectively and efficiently. These projects often consist of eliminating
manual processes and move towards automation so that staff members can be re-allocated to more value added tasks.
Revenue Generating: These initiatives are projects that provide the ability for the organization to utilize new applications, new processes, or new tools that enable the organization to
increase company revenues. These projects typically are high priority due to the impact that they have on the financials.
Operating Cost Reductions: These projects provide Operating Cost Reductions and consist of projects that will provide the organization the ability to reduce the costs for doing
business. These reductions may include contracts that are renegotiated (example: IT Infrastructure or support agreements), or projects that provide valuable data that may provide
insight into how existing processes and procedures can be modified.
Provided below are examples of the projects that fit into each category.
Keep the Lights On (KTLO) Maintaining the Business:
Infrastructure enhancements for high availability, redundancy and failover
Applications Maintenance
Disaster Recovery
Hardware Refresh
Revenue Generation - Enable the business to create revenues:
Implement Salesforce.com for the sales teams management of the sales process
Applications that provide profitability information
Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing reporting systems that provide data that will enable the business to make decisions based on revenues
Efficiency Gains - Increase employee efficiencies and reduce manual labor:
Projects that eliminate manual work resulting in the redeployment of staff to more value added projects
Virtualization & storage enhancements
Operating Cost Reductions- Projects that reduce the cost of doing business:
Review all maintenance contracts and find opportunities for consolidation and reductions
The next step in the process is to define your key initiatives at a high level.
An example of this includes:
Advanced Analytical Reporting
Ability to make business decisions based on the most recent data available
Ability to have data available anytime, anywhere for the sales force
Development of new products or processes
Ability to take the information presented through the IT systems and make business decisions that will result in new products or services
Ability to take the information that is available in the IT systems and identify predictable, repeatable issues that can be identified for resolution.
Consolidation & Efficiency
Reduce complexity of workflows for speed of delivery & increased throughput
Reduce infrastructure footprint (power, cooling, space)
Replacement of legacy IT systems with strategic investments
Business Continuity
Development of Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery capabilities for IT systems
Increased Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery capability for the Supply Chain

Adopt new technologies faster than the competitors
New consumer technologies must be available to the staff
New business initiatives should take precedence over IT projects
Internet redundancy resulting in the elimination of downtime. Eliminates the possibility of orders not being placed in your system.
Now that all of the key areas have been identified and described, the next step is to provide a project description sheet for each new project. Provided on the next page is an example of a
template that I have used when building Roadmaps.
Laura Paoletti holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems and has been the Vice President of Information Technology
at NBC-Universal and Disney ABC Television. She has also held positions at Ernst & Young LLP in the Technology practice. In her role she has
been responsible for Applications, Infrastructure and Digital Media. Some of her notable accomplishments include the implementation of
applications for Digital Media, Marketing, Finance, Manufacturing (supply chain), Sales and Consumer Products; Implementation of Enterprise
Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence systems; Data Center management, including hardware, storage strategies, digital libraries and data
center expansion; Implementation of a Project Management office; and Business transformation from a tape to a tapeless environment (digital
See here for all of Laura's Tom's IT Pro articles.
(Shutterstock image credit: Roadmap)

2. Building an IT Roadmap: A Template

Project Description: IT Infrastructure Health Check
This description below is for an Infrastructure Health check for the environment. This project fits under the Keep The Lights On category and
provides all of the necessary detail associated with the project.

IT Infrastructure Health Check

The last step in the process is to develop the Roadmap timeline. This is a high level summary for all of the projects. Provided below is an example of what that should look like.

IT Roadmap Timeline
The goal of this article was to provide a concise, easy process for developing your Roadmap. I have used this method a few times and it has provided me all of the information
necessary to assist with getting projects approved and funded.

Additional Been There, Done That articles by Laura Paolett:

How to Develop a Service Level Agreement
SLAs define the formal relationship between IT and business-unit customers.
IT Staff Augmentation- How Do You Decide?
Expand your team as needed with high-quality contractors to help get critical work done quickly.
Information Technology The Steps for Going Green
Use and dispose of in a manner that reduces the environmental impact and is energy efficient.
Data Warehousing: A Guide to Getting Projects Approved
How to get a Data Warehousing project approved by building a Statement of Work.
Security in the Cloud: The Business Challenge
Cloud solutions fundamentally shift the way that services are delivered.
Data Warehousing: The Compelling Business Case
Determining the goals and objectives of a Data Warehousing platform.
Data Warehouse: Exadata (Oracle) vs. TwinFin (Netezza/IBM)
The extreme performance capabilities of these Data Warehousing solutions.
Business Intelligence Transforms Your Organization
Addressing staffing requirements key to success.

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