It’s the start of the year and I always get asked to help prepare the IT budget. This includes determining the top 5 big purchases for new initiatives or maintenance upkeep/version upgrades to ensure we are up to date on warranty and support. This is a daunting task especially if you don’t have a technology roadmap for that client.
You can use MS Excel or MS Visual Studio to create this roadmap. I like to use MS Visual Studio because the flowcharts let you drill into the subpages. It’s basically an inventory of all the technology that the client uses. This includes these major categories – Server and Workstation hardware, OSes, user/core applications, IT management application; collaboration tools; website providers; domain providers; extended warranties; etc.
Once you have this inventory, put each of these items in a flowchart box separated by pages for each major category. Line them them all up in a line for the current 2011 year. You could put in previous years and move the boxes to those years if you know when they were implemented or installed. After that, create new lines for 2012, 2013, and 2014 to forecast what you would upgrade to migrate to for each items in the current of coming years.
You would have to meet with various business users/sponsors to see what they want to move to for each item and do some research to see what the lifecycle is for each of the hardware and software listed. Having a ‘guestimate’ technology roadmap is a good start.
I think this provides great value for your clients and will show your proactiveness, especially when they ask for your help in budgeting for the year.