How to prepare your Microsoft Software roadmap for 2024

What is a Microsoft software roadmap?   

A Microsoft software roadmap is a strategic plan outlining your organization’s agreed direction and pace to use Microsoft technology across the organization. This software plan will guide the IT management and the internal business on how to identify which Microsoft technology will work best, the adoption process, payment and maintenance.   

No matter what your Microsoft Software roadmap looks like there is the need to ensure it aligns with your organization’s priorities, goals and financial projections. This should support the full realization of the potential of your investments and growth as an organization.     

Whiles you align your roadmap with your organization’s needs, here are four (4) crucial guiding steps to help you create a realistic roadmap.   

1. What software are you using?  

This is when you will have to make a reconciliation of all existing and currently in use software products to understand the quantity or scope from which your approach should start. Gather all the information concisely and precisely such that every detail is thoroughly taken care of. Leave no room for going back and forth to clarify as this may punch holes in, for example your attempt to use gathered information at a negotiation. Take time to also check if any of the products are up for renewal and plan how to go about it.   

2. What software does your IT team need?

Here your team will have to come together and see how they can be equipped via products or software purchases to satisfy the technological needs and support of the entire organization. It is when your team is well resourced that they will be able to provide the needed and timely support when it matters most. Get everyone on board and think about what products will help your organization now and, in the future, looking at the trends in the IT world. For example, is your IT support well licensed to handle the Artificial Intelligence (AI) wave taking over? Which AI products will you need, and which may in the future substitute what you are currently using? Also look at the timespan with which these products will be used as well as the cost involved and factor it into your roadmap.   

3. What does your organization need?  

This, if not well handled, may consume your time and may lead to you not meeting the time target. You will have to consult with a wide range of key stakeholders in your organization. Inclusive of this key stakeholder must be the finance department. They will add financial backing to your roadmap making sure it becomes a success. There will be the need to set up meeting(s) to get the right information that will help make up the roadmap. It will be close to or counterproductive if you go to each individual to have their take. What you can do is to encourage little groups of three or four in a department to agree on what they will need. Ahead of these smaller groups, create a document with major areas you think can serve as a guiding principle to speed up the decision-making process. This will form the baseline of what the users in your organization will need.        

4. How useful is information gathered on your software usage?    

Now that you have this information, you need to put it together to create a realistic roadmap. This roadmap will then determine the direction in which your IT estate is going over the next couple of years.    

  • What products will be needed?   
  • What quantity will be needed?    
  • What payment model ideally will work for your organization?   
  • The budget projections that will work in each purchasing move.   

5. What is the importance of a Microsoft software roadmap?    

The importance of a Microsoft software roadmap is to help your organization make a concrete decision on what direction it wants to take in terms of issues concerning technological requirements. The roadmap serves as a strategic planning tool that outlines the vision, goals, and steps needed to achieve your organization’s IT objectives over a specific period.    

It makes the development, implementation, and evolution of your organization’s IT infrastructure and systems much centralized and well-coordinated.    

Once you have a roadmap in place, you can strategically align your IT initiatives with the overall business strategy. This ensures that technology investments and projects support the organization’s broader goals and objectives.   

Your organization is also able to plan resources well and on time. The roadmap helps in planning and allocating resources effectively, especially when it comes to license purchases, budgeting for renewals and knowing when negotiation dates are due. Outlining the timeline and dependencies of your IT projects on licenses availability or not, you can better manage your budget, workforce, and other resources with a roadmap in place.   

The most important reason for creating a Microsoft roadmap is to always be well armed and prepared for a negotiation with your vendor. You can create a communication plan speaking with one voice and agreeing on your organization’s behalf. The roadmap becomes a sure template based on facts that everyone will speak to when it comes to negotiations with your vendor. You can be sure that when the head of finance or CEO ends up in the negotiation conversation, they will say or not say the same things, share the same story with the software vendor. This will show the vendor that you have a watertight internal alignment and know what you are about.   

6. What are the 6 key components of a Microsoft software roadmap?  

Timeline: Your roadmap must be time-bound to serve as a guide for implementation take off. This helps whip all contributors in line and ensure all that needs to be done in terms of preparation is concluded so licenses can be acquired on time. Also, expectations, deliverables and how to manage the roadmap from start to finish is captured.   

Features and Enhancements: This takes care of specific activities in the roadmap. Also, what measures should be taken when parts of the roadmap do not deliver as expected can all be captured to ensure a continuous progressive implementation.   

Resources: Your roadmap should capture who plays what role as the roadmap is implemented. Are you sourcing personnel entirely internally or will you invite an independent expert to support with the creation and implementation? Also, carry out consultation with the financial team to make sure there is enough funding to back the execution of the roadmap.   

Goals and objectives: Make sure that your roadmap aligns with the broader goals of your organization. Your roadmap should also state how its implementation contributes to your overall business success.   

Communication Plan: Your roadmap is a communication tool that will be shared with users in your organization in terms of what the plan is on software purchase and use. It also serves as a foundation for planning on what to ask Microsoft in the case of a negotiation.      

How can we help with your roadmap creation?   

You get the opportunity to leverage our expertise in Microsoft technologies, negotiation knowledge and how to exploit solutions to meet your needs. Our team of experts, when invited to support your organization, will first make a thorough assessment of your organization’s current infrastructure. This is to enable us to know the licenses in use and how efficient they are meeting needs and if there will be the need to purchase additional ones or let go of current ones.   

Our team of experts also look at what your business goals are and how well we can align the roadmap with it. We do this by working closely with key stakeholders to understand the organization’s business goals, expectations and objectives.   

We also have under our sleeves of experience tons of scenarios to share to guide you to settle on the best solutions. We know and understand the best practices, especially in the area of negotiation, agreement optimizations and savings, and we can share what will work for your organization.     

Contact our team of experts today on your Microsoft Software roadmap designing, Microsoft related agreements, risk management, pre-owned license selling/purchasing and integration planning.   

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