As 2022 approaches, it’s time for companies to reconsider various aspects of their business strategy. After a year as disruptive as 2021, many influencing factors have likely shifted, rendering some strategies outdated and highlighting the value of others. Creating or revamping an IT roadmap is particularly important now.
Many organizations already have an IT roadmap, but it may not be current. Others may not have one at all. In either case, businesses must review and revamp these strategies for the coming year.
Why Should You Have an IT Roadmap?
For those without one, the first thing to consider is creating an IT roadmap in the first place. In today’s tech-driven world, every company needs to think through how new technologies fit into their business strategy. Businesses must capitalize on technology to stay competitive, and that can be challenging without a formal plan.
A technology roadmap helps determine which technologies hold the most potential for a business’s specific needs. It will then improve operations and reduce costs by guiding effective implementation. Since technology moves so quickly, companies can’t expect to experience those benefits without a specific, time-bound plan.
While every company has unique IT needs and resources, recent trends have highlighted factors that any business should consider in its tech roadmap. Here are five of these considerations for 2022.
Changing Workforce Environments
Perhaps the most widespread and disruptive shift for businesses in 2022 is the remote work revolution. After two years of experimenting with remote work, remote and hybrid work environments are becoming permanent fixtures for many organizations. These shifting workspaces bring new technology considerations.
If a business embraces remote or hybrid work, it must adapt its IT infrastructure to account for a flexible workforce. On-premise solutions will be insufficient for the organization’s new needs, so it must consider cloud-based alternatives. Similarly, these companies must revisit their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.
One of the most important considerations in this area is security. Network or hardware-based security options may no longer be sufficient, so companies must find other ways to verify user identities and secure sensitive data. Zero-trust architecture and cloud-native security will likely grow more popular amid this shift.
Emerging Cybersecurity Threats
Whether or not companies go remote, cybersecurity, in general, is a crucial consideration for IT roadmaps in 2022. Cybercrime has become a pandemic of its own in the past two years, with threats becoming more common, damaging and advanced. Data breaches rose by 17% between 2020 and 2021, costing a record $4.24 million per incident on average.
Amid these rising threats, businesses must consider how to defend themselves, which starts with highlighting new vulnerabilities. For many organizations, the shift to remote work has made them more vulnerable. Others may face new threats by expanding their attack surface through increased internet of things (IoT) adoption.
As companies plan their 2022 business strategies, they should review which threats are most relevant and how they can protect against them. Zero-trust security, automated monitoring technologies and thorough employee training will be among the most popular solutions.
After widespread disruptions in 2021, many businesses are rapidly adopting new technologies, outdating older solutions at an unprecedented pace. Amid this shift, many organizations may find that the hardware solutions they rely on are no longer sufficient for current and future business needs.
As technology rapidly advances in 2022, businesses should consider their legacy equipment and how to upgrade it. While organizations shouldn’t upgrade for the sake of having the newest technology, legacy machines can hinder both efficiency and security. Businesses should review IT pain points to see if outdated technologies are holding them back in any area.
One specific thing to look for is end-of-support dates. Many technologies come with limited support lifecycles, and if a machine will no longer receive updates, it’s time to upgrade it. Without ongoing support, equipment quickly becomes a security concern.
Plans to Monitor Your IT Roadmap
An effective IT roadmap includes more than technology goals and implementation strategies. These plans should also include a process for reviewing these goals and strategies to ensure they remain realistic and relevant. Plenty of unpredictable factors can impact a company’s position to meet these goals or the goals themselves, so these strategies deserve review.
How often these reviews should occur depends on the extent of a company’s tech investments, but they should be regular. Some teams have found success meeting every two weeks to review IT goals and progress, while others may only need monthly meetings.
Without regular review, it can be difficult to monitor progress and see if a company needs to make any adjustments. Unforeseen disruptions can also postpone some goals, while some unanticipated circumstances may accelerate progress. In either case, teams need frequent meetings to adjust this roadmap to ensure it remains effective.
Resources and Challenges
Finally, companies should base the specifics of this business strategy on their unique resources and obstacles. All the goals and points on an IT roadmap should be solutions to problems that businesses face, not upgrades for the sake of upgrading. Consequently, organizations must determine what their most relevant challenges are to decide what technology solutions to invest in.
While many tech trends apply across industries, not every advancement or technology is necessary for every business. For example, retailers and similar businesses may need analytics technologies and edge computing to mitigate supply chain disruptions. Other businesses may not rely on timely logistics as heavily, so these technologies may be too costly for the benefits they’d generate.
The other part of this equation is considering companies’ current resources. Some technologies, like robotics or deep learning algorithms, come with high upfront costs and computing needs, which some businesses can’t provide for. Organizations must review their resources to determine how they can effectively meet their tech needs.
IT Roadmaps Should Shift for 2022
The past two years have brought substantial disruptions to business and technology spaces. In light of these dramatic changes, companies should reconsider and revamp their IT roadmaps for the coming year.
If businesses consider all of these factors, they can create a more actionable, effective business plan for technology investments. If they ignore them, their tech initiatives may flounder. Frequent review and an understanding of developing trends are crucial for effective IT roadmaps.