Crash Course: Digital Roadmap

Whether you are a digital newcomer or an “old hand”: a well-structured and target-oriented roadmap is the key to digitisation success.


With digitisation advancing at such a rapid speed, companies also have to adapt in order to keep pace with their competitors. Outdated planning cycles, which often take several years to implement, make the necessary changeability impossible and are therefore no longer with the times. It is important to adapt the planning strategy to the current market conditions - ideally with a digital roadmap. Depending on the company, new trends such as blockchain, Internet of Things or augmented reality should also be taken into account.


What a digital roadmap entails can be derived directly from the term. It is a master plan for the digitisation of a company that defines goals and development directions but can be flexibly adapted and continuously developed as needed. The framework for action and the action plan are defined taking into account the current state of digitisation in the company.


Use your roadmap to stay on track


In times of rapidly changing market conditions - the pandemic has exacerbated this effect - the uncertainty regarding digitalisation is great for many companies. Competitors' strategies, financial risks and internal weaknesses are great causes for concern. A well-structured roadmap can be a great relief because a targeted plan can address problems more effectively and solutions can be developed more easily. This applies both internally and externally.


Internally, the roadmap offers a good point of reference in the midst of a hectic and dynamic everyday life with uncertainties and decision-making questions. Externally, the digital roadmap promotes adaptability and flexibility vis-à-vis the competition.



Four steps to a digital roadmap

Which software you use to create your roadmap, or whether you want to do it together with an external service provider, depends on the preferences and needs of the company. Some helpful tools to get started are Airfocus, Planview or Targetprocess.


It is important to consider the following steps when creating your roadmap:


1. Ask the relevant questions

Ask yourself which platforms you want to build, which processes of your company you want to digitise and who you want to involve in the digitisation process. Such questions facilitate the formulation of clear strategic goals. The basic parameters determined in this way then form the foundation for your roadmap.


2. Formulate clear goals

This should include a cost and risk assessment. Success can be measured by performance indicators or individually defined milestones. Be sure to formulate goals that are ambitious but achievable. A SWOT analysis can help you identify any weaknesses.


3. Involve the relevant stakeholders

This allows for an integrated and sustainable digitisation process that ensures the approval from all relevant stakeholders and a customer-centric approach across systems.


4. Use live documents

The digital roadmap should provide a strategic plan for your company and your employees that can be referred to at any time and that keeps the company on track in the digitisation process. Consequently, this should also evolve with the company and be constantly updated and adapted as needed. Take into account changing factors such as changing market conditions and customer needs, as well as real-time analytics and business requirements.


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