Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: 5 hours ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices. This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Technology Strategy Consulting

  • 1.  Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 15, 2018 08:57
    Hi!

    Has anyone worked with a tech strategy consultant org?  For context we're an org of about 500 people with a pretty complex set-up.  I'd love advice on orgs, but also on what you used the firms for so I can figure out a scope that is hopefully affordable but still meets our needs.

    Thanks!

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    Shubha Bala
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 07:36
    Hi Shubha -

    Out of the gate, my initial reaction is that at 500 employees, you are past the stage of needing someone internally to handle technology strategy. Consulting can only go so far on understanding internal complexity and staying on top of things at that size. But I'd like to give a more helpful response that that! Can you give more context in terms of what your IT staffing looks like and some more detail on the complex setup you mentioned? Are you a single office setup? All remote with a lot of geographic spread? A single central office with multiple program sites? Any detail on what caused you to go looking at outside strategy consulting vs. hiring that talent directly?

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    Dar Veverka
    Director of Information Technology
    Urban Teachers
    Baltimore, MD
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 07:50

    What are you hoping to get out of the relationship?  Are you looking for them to help you put together a 5-year tech plan or are you just looking to have someone talk you through some specific problems you're having?



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    Colin Boyle
    Step Up Suncoast
    Sarasota, FL
    cboyle@manateecaa.org
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 08:54
    Thank you both!

    Perhaps strategy consulting isn't the right word.  We're an organization that is geographically diverse where each sub-team has different tech need and infrastructure, and we have expanded quickly - but some of our set-up comes from a smaller org mentality.  We have a tech support group, we have a "project manager" group which are more like product managers+project managers for grant-funded tech, and developers.  I'm newly the Director so my role really is to set the strategy, direction, and growth for the team.

    In part I'm wondering what an external consultant can help us with.  I'm hoping for someone to look at how we work together, what platforms we are using, if there are ways to optimize efficiencies better (both through automation, training, etc), ways we can work with our staff better, and are we opening ourselves up to any risks right now.  All of this may be too expensive to get externally but I'm still just understanding what is possible and want to speak to consultants to find out more.

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    Shubha Bala
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 5.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 09:19

    It sounds to me like this would be money well spent.....assuming you find the right vendor.  It sounds like you have a lot of pieces to this jigsaw puzzle and a fresh set of eyes may help you put them together.

    I don't think this is something you'd want to entrust to your local MSP,  very few of them offer really good fractional CIO services.  That said, there are definitely vendors who specialize in this sort of thing, even ones who specialize in non-profits.

    Just make sure that you properly define your scope of work at the beginning.  The better the scope of work, the more likely you and the vendor will be happy at the end.

    I'm anxious to hear how it turns out.  It sounds like a good story for the monthly call.



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    Colin Boyle
    Step Up Suncoast
    Sarasota, FL
    cboyle@manateecaa.org
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 6.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 10:48
    @Isaac Shalev​ I believe this thread is calling your name.

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    Stephanie Henyard
    Information Technology
    Society for College and University Planning
    www.scup.org
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 7.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 16, 2018 11:11
    Thanks for tagging me in, Stephanie!

    Shubha, we work with organizations to offer exactly the kind of insight you're looking for. We do organizational assessments to understand how organizations really work, to evaluate their existing tech infrastructure, as well as process, policy, people and governance. We take a holistic approach that can inform a strategic planning process, can lay the groundwork for process re-engineering, or can lead to reconsidering the organization's personnel structure and HR/staffing strategy.

    I'd be happy to speak with you further about the specifics of your situation. Please reach out to me directly.

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 8.  RE: Technology Strategy Consulting

    Posted Aug 17, 2018 14:48
    Hi Shubha,

    You mentioned:
    "In part I'm wondering what an external consultant can help us with.  I'm hoping for someone to look at how we work together, what platforms we are using, if there are ways to optimize efficiencies better (both through automation, training, etc), ways we can work with our staff better, and are we opening ourselves up to any risks right now.  All of this may be too expensive to get externally but I'm still just understanding what is possible and want to speak to consultants to find out more."

    I help nonprofit organizations conduct an organizational assessment of processes, data, databases and all related technology. The result is a set of actionable recommendations and a road map to implement changes to achieve your stated goals such as efficiency. I have helped my clients identify the current shortcomings in their systems & related operations, and provided a road map to overcome their challenges via technology migration or process re-design or both.

    I am a strategic technology consultant, and I provide strategic assessments of organizational technology and data. I have worked with globally distributed, multi-cultural organizations and intimately know the cultural aspects impacting global organizations and technology adoption.

    Please contact me using my email or phone information below for further discussion.

    Take care,




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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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    Tech Accelerate