By the Security Executive Council
In the first part of this series, we talked about what a security service and technology roadmap is, what its benefits are, and how to start developing one. (Read Do You Need a Security Service and Technology Roadmap?
Let's focus now on some specific situations in which a technology roadmap can help an organization.
Note that the final product, the roadmap document itself, is not going to be the most valuable outcome. It's in going through the process of developing the roadmap—gathering a team, defining business-aligned goals, needs and priorities, and examining existing and potential technologies—that the most value is achieved.
The roadmap will not solve problems or provide answers. What it will do is offer guidance and a path forward in any situation.
So, in which situations might a roadmap provide needed guidance?
- Mergers & acquisitions. When companies come together with all their legacy platforms, systems, and brands, how will you decide which one to move forward with? And how then do you transition to the chosen technology? The roadmap development process brings stakeholders together to define requirements, look at technology and software options, impacts on the business and on staffing, to find the best path.
- End of life of equipment. Having a roadmap can ease your transition away from aged or obsolete systems and inform your decisions about which new technologies to adopt in their place.
- Assigning accountability and system management. The roadmap development process will give you a chance to work with other operational leaders to determine who, and what function, will be best able to manage new and existing technologies.
- Budget problems. One organization with which we're familiar decided, after going through this process, to give responsibility for most of its physical security systems to IT. While that may seem like a slight, it's actually a help: While the systems represented a noticeable line item in security's budget, in IT's budget they hardly made a ripple compared to the whole. Because the item goes unnoticed, it stays safe from budget cuts.
- Staffing questions. Going through this process will help you answer questions like What are the core skills we need today and will need in the future in our organization? and What training will our staff need to keep current and be prepared for what comes next?
- Selecting partners. When your organization is looking for integrator and technology partners, the technology roadmap helps keep the focus on the priorities of the plan and lays out performance requirements. Providers can be vetted through the lens of the roadmap, ensuring that the partners you choose can meet your needs not just now, but down the road, across the organization.
- Specific problems. When you're dealing with specific technology questions, like how to integrate existing systems for traveler monitoring, or how to most effectively deploy GPS for vehicle or high-value cargo protection, the roadmap can help you identify whether other functions may already have technology to assist, and how to implement solutions in a way that aligns with the overall tech strategy.
Technology roadmap development should be led by an independent third party or an internal group with the appropriate skills, talent, and time—not a vendor or manufacturer. It's also important to find someone with the ability to put the results in an influential report that focuses on the issue most critical to your executives, whatever that might be.
However you decide to delegate it, remember to focus on the process. That's where the real value lies.
The Security Executive Council has assisted many security leaders in developing, refining and utilizing technology roadmaps. Contact Us
to discuss your plans and how we might be able to help you achieve your vision.