CDW Blog

From Tech Strategies to Tech Plans: Creating a Roadmap That’s Right for Your Business

21 May, 2021 / by Kyle Davies

Strategy, like democracy and sustainability, has a “too many friends” problem. Everyone knows it’s a good thing and everyone claims to be doing it—but when you look a little deeper, things are rarely as complete as they initially appear to be.

At CDW, we’ve noticed that for many IT leaders trying to plot a future course for their organisations through murky waters, a high-level business strategy sometimes raises questions, such as how do we implement this?


How do we get from a high-level view to actionable plans that can be implemented this week, next month and so on? Without those roadmaps and plans, a strategy will fall short.

The road from good intentions to concrete achievements starts, for us, with a clear technology roadmap. To create this, when we work with a customer, we consider the overall vision of the organisation and the business outcomes that need to be achieved—and then help them build a detailed plan of the interventions that will be needed on the journey. Along the way, we ask questions such as:

  • What are the immediate advantages this technology plan can deliver to your business? What will take longer to deliver? 
  • How much can you do with what you already have?  
  • How is this enabling your business outcome and driving the business forward? 
  • How do you need to develop your team, or what external resources do you need to mobilise to support new technology choices? 

This last point is key. Many digital transformation plans fail to take into account the gap between the skills currently available in an organisation and the skills needed to support the vision. Identifying those gaps early on and planning to fill them is critical to success. It is often expected that existing staff will be retrained or up skilled but sometimes this is just not possible.

We also don’t encourage five-year plans: technology simply moves too fast. A three-year plan can in some cases be challenging, to be honest. When organisations insist, we generally recommend not committing to too much detail beyond 12-18 months. Everything else should remain sketched in—and then, of course, your plan should be revisited and updated every six months or so. Having a high-level strategy provides you with a north star for your long-term journey, but your underpinning plans should be much less.


In all of this, it’s important not to fall for technology sales hype and promises of what technology solutions can achieve in terms of your business outcomes. For example, if what you need is a delivery van, buying a high-performance sports car is probably not the best investment.

This is one reason why we believe it’s so helpful to work with an external partner who can provide an agnostic perspective on your business needs. We’ve recently worked with a public sector organisation, where it turned out they could achieve critical business outcomes without significant new investment, but instead just using their boring old data centres differently. We’ve advised startups who had no idea what their needs might be in 12 months but needed to build for maximum flexibility, allowing them to pivot and change depending on business demand. We have also worked with customers who already had an excellent strategy and detailed roadmap in place, but needed external support to build out just one pillar of that roadmap.

The point is, while every business is unique—and its strategy must fit—there are well-defined processes for achieving that perfect fit. Just as a few key measurements enable a good tailor to make a suit for any shape, so a few key steps can create a technology plan that works for any business.

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Kyle Davies - Practice Lead, Integrated Technology Architecture

Speak to us today and discover more about how CDW can help create a roadmap for your business:


Topics: Integrated Technology