Technology Alignment Manager

The Technology Alignment Manager (TAM) is a key point of contact for the client and the vCIO. Their role is to look at the overall network infrastructure of the client’s network and verify that the systems which the client’s company uses are still functioning, based on original configuration settings for all the networked devices and matched against what is seen as the industry best practice. 


When a new/refreshed system is put into place at a client site everything works straight out of the box, give or take any nuance changes required by the client’s business environment. Like all systems, changes take place over a period where the settings, configurations etc. begin to drift away from the original design. This can be influenced by events such as the type of patches deployed to the end user or server devices, additional devices being added to the network, additional users being added to the company, or the updating of firmware to devices like the firewall or switches, which may change the behaviour of the devices updated.


An analogy would be piloting a ship on a calm sea and overtime the movement of waves gently nudges it off its intended course. The TAM’s reviews look at the overall system and identifies where this drift has occurred and raises these changes, whether planned or not, with the vCIO and the Service Desk team at Tycom to see what can be done to bring the network and its related systems back on to the course originally set, if they are unable to carry out the work while onsite. 


During a technology alignment review the TAM has set procedures they tend to stick with, be it an onsite or remote review. They will always meet/talk to the company’s onsite contact and get the lay of the land of any known technological changes or issues which may have occurred since the last time they had carried out a review. These changes or issues could contribute to any unforeseen issues further down the line if they are not addressed. The TAM takes the knowledge from the discussion with the client and incorporates it with any findings they discover while carrying out the alignment. 


A key principle of this process is a proactive approach to monitoring and managing the client’s network. This gives the MSP an insight to any possible technical difficulties on the horizon, and the ability to address these potential issues before the client experiences the technical difficulty the issue would have caused. The technology alignment manager acts as a cog in that proactive system, being able to see things going awry onsite, which the remote management systems would not be able to pick up until there is a systems failure. An example of this would be missing network cables, server fans ball bearings failing and the fan not functioning as expected. Issues like this are detected by the ear and eye and are invisible to the monitoring tools of the remote management team.  


Along with the physical wellbeing of the devices used by the clients the Technology Alignment Manager also takes responsibility for ensuring that the standard IT security practices are active, and highlighting where they are not, to both the client and the vCIO. These can range from a robust end user password policy, fulfilling the requirements laid out by the technology industry leaders, like Microsoft, as well as the implementing of Multi-Factor/Two Factor Authentication on a company’s network domain and their accessible Microsoft products over the internet. 


In summary, once the Technology Alignment Manager has carried out their audit and proactive tasks, they can assist in any reactive tasks which occur onsite during their visit, or currently active on the service desk ticketing system. The review they carry out is then passed to the vCIO, who will analyse the findings and incorporate them into a business plan, which can be used to guide the client forward with their current use of information technology equipment and digital technologies, enhancing the company’s embrace of such technologies to influence and improve productivity for the future.