It's no secret that ecommerce is booming, with increasingly more people shopping online for everything from clothes to electronics. If you want your ecommerce business to have the best chance of success,it's well worth having a solid IT roadmap in place.
Designing an IT roadmap for your ecommerce business might sound like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. In this blog post, we will give you tips and tricks on how to design a roadmap that meets the specific needs of your business.
We'll also discuss some common pitfalls to avoid when creating your IT roadmap. So whether you're just starting out or you've been in business for a while, keep reading for plenty of helpful advice.
Designing an IT roadmap for ecommerce
One of the most crucial factors in launching and running a successful ecommerce business is having a robust and well-designed IT infrastructure. In other words, your website needs to be fast, reliable, and secure.
In order to achieve this, you need to have a clear IT roadmap that outlines all the changes and upgrades you need to make to your website on a regular basis. You can map it yourself, or ask for professional assistance – companies like EC-MSP can help you plan the whole process.
Below are our tips and tricks on how to design an IT roadmap for ecommerce that will help keep your website up and running smoothly.
#1 Define your goals
What do you want to achieve with your ecommerce website, and what are your top priorities? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start planning the steps you need to take in order to achieve them.
Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. That's why an aim such as “improve website speed” is too vague, and a better goal would be something like “decrease website load time by 50% within the next six months”.
By setting SMART goals, you can track your progress and adjust your IT roadmap accordingly down the line. To help define them, consider your main objectives, timeline, budget, and risks or challenges while brainstorming.
#2 Analyze your current infrastructure
This process includes taking a close look at your website's hosting plan, domain name, shopping cart software, and payment gateway, etc. Once you have a good understanding of what you have in place currently, you can start planning for any necessary upgrades or changes.
For example, if your checkout process is outdated, it might be time to switch to a newer and more user-friendly platform that offers features like one-click purchasing. Or, if your website is running slowly, you might need to invest in a more powerful hosting plan or consider using a content delivery network (CDN).
#3 Determine your upgrade paths
Once you know where changes need to be made, figure out the sequence of steps you need to take in order to implement them. This will help you create a timeline for your IT roadmap and ensure that all the upgrades are made in a logical order.
Let's say your goal is to improve website speed, then one of the steps in your upgrade path may be to switch to a faster web hosting plan. Whereas if your goal is to increase online sales, then a sensible change would be to add a live chat feature to your website so that potential customers can get their questions answered in real-time.
By outlining all the changes and upgrades you need on a regular basis, you can create an IT roadmap that's tailored to the specific needs of your ecommerce business.
#4 Create a schedule for changes
While determining your upgrade path, also use this time to schedule when to make any modifications to your current infrastructure so that everything continues running smoothly. Doing so will save you time and energy in the long run because you won't have to scramble to make last-minute changes, and you can then also allow some buffer time in your schedule in case any unforeseen delays or issues arise.
For example, if you're planning on upgrading your web hosting plan then do it at a time when traffic to your website is low. This could be late at night or over the weekend when most people are not shopping online.
#5 Keep security in mind
Are your website and customer data being backed up regularly? Do you have an SSL certificate installed to ensure that all information exchanged between your website and visitors is secure?
When it comes to ecommerce, security should always be top of mind. Make sure to factor it into your IT roadmap so that you can avoid any potential disasters down the road.
#6 Evaluate and update regularly
As your business grows and changes, so too will your IT needs. By staying on top of things, you can ensure that your ecommerce website continues to run smoothly and efficiently.
Having SMART goals allows you to more easily evaluate your IT roadmap and make any necessary changes. If you find that certain goals are no longer relevant or achievable then you can adjust your roadmap accordingly, while completing an objective sooner than expected means you can add a new one in its place.
By being flexible and adaptable, you can have an IT roadmap in place that is always working for the evolving needs of your growing business. That's why you need to keep in mind that it should not be a static document, but one that changes as your IT needs do.
Review and update your roadmap on a regular basis so that it always reflects the current state of your ecommerce business. Just don't forget to communicate any changes or updates to all stakeholders so that everyone is always on the same page.
As technology evolves, so too should your IT roadmap with it. Review your roadmap at least once every quarter (if not more often) to check that it is still relevant and achievable, as well as that you're up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the world of ecommerce.
By following the above tips, you can easily create an IT roadmap that's tailored to the specific needs of your ecommerce business and geared towards making it a success. Being proactive and planning ahead will help avoid any potential disasters down the road and keep your website running smoothly and efficiently.