Our goal is to help University of Minnesota faculty and staff navigate the process of choosing a technology solution. The Technology Advisory Council is made up of friendly, knowledgeable technology experts from across the University system. We have  experience with the University's unique, highly-interdependent technology environment. We are practiced with the University's technology policies, standards, and guiding principles. Our knowledge and experience is at your disposal, free of charge.

If you are exploring the use, purchase, or development of a technology, and feel like you could benefit from some helpful advice or simply want to discuss options, request a consultation.

Technology Knowledge and Experience

The University's technology ecosystem is vast and complex. It is virtually impossible for one person, or even one department to have expertise in all areas of technology. The tech advisors can complement your team's knowledge, helping to ease the stress of making decisions outside of your area of technical expertise, shortening the time you invest in research, and reducing your overall risk. Our areas of expertise include: 

  • Applications (e.g., vendor or custom developed)

  • Architecture (e.g., application, data, infrastructure)

  • Collaboration technologies (e.g., email and web)

  • Communications

  • Data (e.g., architecture, database, administration)

  • Network (e.g., wired, WiFi, voice)

  • Platforms (e.g., servers, storage)

  • Security (e.g., compliance, architecture)

  • Systems Management
  • Usability (e.g., accessibility)

  • User Support 

Get Advice

Consult the technology advisors by filling out a request form when you are exploring a technology solution or are planning your near- and longer-term technology strategies.

The Tech Advisors can help you

  • Anticipate the impact and efficacy of new technologies
  • Prepare for decommissioning technologies nearing sunset
  • Prepare Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and vendor reviews and selection processes
  • Assess security risks

What kind of technology solutions are appropriate to bring to us?

We are happy to discuss technology hardware, software, or services of all sizes with you. If you think you could benefit from reaching out to the council, contact us. We have had valuable discussions with University staff about everything from smart thermostats to when it's appropriate to use cloud solutions. 

When is the right time to contact us?

There is no wrong time to contact the Technology Advisory Council. However, earlier in your technology exploration process is better.

Technology Decision Process

In our experience, most technology decisions follow a predictable process, progressing from inspiration to research, assessment, selection, and purchase and implementation. Wherever you are in the process, we can help! The boxes below give examples of the kinds of decisions, resources used, and activities at each phase of the technology decision process.

Technology Advisory Council technology selection process: Inspiration, Research, Assessment, Selection, Purchase & Implementation

Phase Inspiration Research Assessment Selection Purchase & Implementation
Steps

What we have isn’t meeting our needs.

Technology could make things better, faster, more efficient.

  • Guidance provided by Technology Portfolio
  • Cost
  • Ease of Use or Adoption
  • Total cost of purchase
  • Projected technical debt
  • Service Level Agreements