November 4, 2009Doug Hadden
Software vendors have conditioned customers to expect a product roadmap. These roadmaps show how the vendor intends to add product features, and when those features will be available. It’s too bad if the vendor does not intend to deliver the features you need when you need them. Or, that the product will be released at an inconvenient time. Or, that you will be forced to upgrade. These are very real concerns for our government clients.
Governments are budget driven. Upgrading software costs money, therefore needs to be planned well in advance. And, the upgraded software needs to be fully tested so that it can go into production in the next fiscal year. Not all government fiscal years are the same. (Our customers operate on 6 different fiscal year cycles.)
I’ve been conferring with our Government of Canada Cluster and the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) about our product roadmap. Our short-term roadmap is driven by our product commitments. The long-term roadmap is also set by customers. We wll be consulting with our customers as we prepare the 2+ year roadmap. This will result in an updated roadmap published to our customers after our FISC meeting in late January.
The roadmap features and delivery schedule will be set by customers. We continue to support older versions of our software in order to accommodate customer budget cycles. It’s a different approach – perhaps the roadmap less traveled.