One thing that can sometimes fall to the wayside is vendor road maps. We often get to involved with existing projects and can sometimes forget to schedule in road maps or planning sessions with current vendors.
I’ve been sitting down with a few of our current vendors to get a sense of what is on the horizon and what we can look forward to in new generations of technology and software. As a person who needs to be thinking about strategic direction this is just one of the many things that is required to build that IT strategic plan. Technology isn’t cheap and you’ll need to have a sense of where your vendors are going yet more importantly what is being left to the curb.
Old technology is something that we all have to deal with and I bet anyone reading this can think of a few “legacy” systems still running. Anyone with Windows NT 4.0? SQL 7? It happens and sometimes there is little we can do as they are “mission critical apps”. It’s one of my strategies to prevent this from happening and to make sure that we are utilizing technology, software and everything in-between that is under support and within a current lifecycle period. To do this, you need to have a road map built into your strategic planning. Something I’ve been working on over the last few days now for next year.
As I indicated, you should make sure you sit down with your vendor at least a few times a year or even quarterly so that you can flesh out your own road map so that your not left in the dust supporting something that really has no support for. You can also ask your vendors or their partners for an Executive Briefing Tour at many companies Executive Briefing Centres, I’ve got a few listed out below:
During the month of April, I’ll have a chance to visit a few of these centre’s so that I can craft up our IT strategic plan in support of the business. I’ll make sure to do a post or two from the different places.