Experts & Communities
Technology Advisory Council
Helping you choose technologies with confidence
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)
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
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, the earlier in your technology exploration process, the better.
In our experience, most techology 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 table below gives examples of the kinds of decisions, resources used, and activities at each phase of the technology decision process.
|Inspiration||Research||Assessment||Selection||Purchase & Implementation|
What we have isn’t meeting our needs.
Technology could make things better, faster, more efficient.
Search the it.umn.edu service catalog
Talk to Local IT staff
Talk to IT Service Owners
Talk to UMN colleagues
Research using Gartner for Technical Professionals
Review security policy & standards
Work with U Purchasing
Strategize vendor relations
Make decision based on your criteria:
TAC disposition on technology
Ease of Use or Adoption
Total cost of purchase
Projected technical debt
Service Level Agreements
Work with U Purchasing
Work with General Counsel