The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


The Technology Advocate – Helping You Find Sound IT Direction and Formulate Smart IT Decisions

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The Technology Advocate provides client-focused advise grounded in the business case and tailored to address the unique needs of each organization.

Are you making good decisions about investments in your technology infrastructure? What business goals are you trying to accomplish? For many companies, the answer to both questions is a resounding "um..."

Organizations of all sizes use technology to conduct business functions ranging from simple communication to complex "big data" data analysis. Sometimes the adoption of technology is well conceived and cost effective, however all too often the acquisition and deployment of new technology results in projects that are over budget, delivered late, and result in a significant disruption of daily operations.

Success Factors

An examination of projects that fail to meet expectations reveals a variety of factors contributing to the sharp divide between initial pre-sign off expectations and post-implementation reality. These factors include:

  1. An absence of clearly-stated, executive-level business goals,
  2. The absence of a rigorous examination of the overall cost to implement and potential disruption of daily operations,
  3. The absence of realistic ROI goals and achievement time-frames,
  4. A desire by technology vendors to oversimplify the complexity of implementation and to understate project costs, and
  5. A lack of engagement by executive management.

Because of more finite financial resources and limited access to high-quality technical talent when compared to large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are particularly challenged. SMBs typically outsource technology management to a “technology guy” or hire 1 or 2 technically-minded individuals to maintain and support the existing infrastructure. These individuals are typically grounded only in the maintenance of technology and are not comfortable aligning technical initiatives with business goals. Because executives have typically abdicated technical decision making to maintenance-level personnel, many initiatives do not achieve measurable ROI, don't meet expectations and fail outright.

The Advocate

Executives of small and mid-sized organizations have historically relied upon the guidance of two primary groups of professionals: 1) Attorneys for legal advice, and 2) CPAs for financial auditing and decision making. With the ever-increasing ubiquity and diversity of technology, combined with the potential advantages a firm can gain through its deployment, it has become apparent that a third executive-level professional service is needed; that of the Technology Advocate.

In the today's uber-competitive business marketplace, those firms that most creatively develop technical initiatives, effectively implement technical projects, and leverage the benefits that technology provides, will be the firms that thrive and succeed. Those that perpetuate the mistakes of the past will not be able to leverage the advantages that technology can provide, will continue to operate using manual methods, and may end up at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

The Technology Advocate...

  • provides client-focused advise to executives and helps ensure smart decisions regarding technology,
  • is closely related to the CIO and CTO positions currently found in larger organizations, and in the case of small and mid-sized firms, exists as an outsourced professional service, and
  • offers technical advise grounded in the business case and tailored to address the unique needs of each client organization.

If you are seeking client-focused IT Consulting regarding your business technology direction, or are trying to decide whether outsourcing your IT infrastructure is a good idea, let's visit!

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Topics: Network Management Partnering IT Consulting Managed Network Services