You don’t want your brain surgeon doing a hip replacement, but you sure want them to know your full medical history before you start.  

This is part 2 of a 3 part series that addresses the value your technology department adds and why you shouldn’t put every problem through to them. Read part one here

Those of you who have been following me for a while will be well aware of the message I am pushing – that applying a strategy first approach to your technology selection means your business will get the tools it needs to make your business more efficient

In my last article, I covered off why you shouldn’t burden your technology department with delivering every single tool you need because they’re domain experts, not generalists. You don’t want to distract from their core role of delivering the products and services you sell. 

Mohammad Shalan described it well by highlighting that Technology has two disciplines:

It might not seem like much of a distinction (by default, BT is IT), but there is a big one. IT is concerned with the data relevant to your company. Whether that be customer information, product information, or staff data, it’s all the heart and soul of what your business does. 

Where as BT is just about doing a process better. Your business can survive without BT, it can’t exist without IT. 

Before you argue this statement, take a moment to consider your marketing engine (BT) vs your customer database (IT): 

  1. Turn off your marketing engine, you can’t talk to your customers in the way they like.
  2. Turn off your customer database, you have no way of knowing who your customers are.

Leave your technology department to look after that customer database. But don’t discount their value when it comes to choosing the BT you need.

You don’t want your brain surgeon doing a hip replacement, but you sure want them to know your full medical history before you start.

Your IT department might not be marketing experts, but you definitely want them in the room when you are discussing new tools. 


Because they’ll help you identify the tool that is going to work best with their information technology – like your customer database. And that is important. 

If the tools you buy can’t integrate with your internal IT, you’re going to be faced with one of two options:

  1. You duplicate the dataset inside the tool you’ve just bought, leading to mass inefficiencies and data integrity issues
  2. Your tool has no data at all in it, leaving it to be less than useless. 

Neither of these are good for business.

Assuming your technology department can’t help you in BT purchasing decisions is the second biggest mistake you can make. The biggest one is never talking to them at all. 

In the final article I’ll be exploring the value business architecture can play in your decision making, and why it’s a competency that’s not unique to your business.

Thanks for reading. I welcome all comments as they add perspective and diversity to advance the conversation. Check out my other articles and share your thoughts!


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"One of Ant's strengths is relating to owners in a visionary sense and talking to people who are on the ground...[Ant has a] wide understanding of different systems, processes and applications and can articulate where we're going and what the possibilities are...working with Ant has changed the way we make decisions about IT structures and support systems."

Felicity Hopkins, Director - Research Review

We hired Ant to support us with an important project after he was highly recommended by colleagues. Ant was responsive, speedy, super-helpful and helped us to make key decisions. We appreciated his broad experience, and his ability to hold a high level strategic view alongside expert advice on details. We will definitely be consulting with Ant again and are happy to recommend him.

Gaynor Parkin, CEO at Umbrella Wellbring

"We don’t need a full-time CTO [chief technology officer]. Ant knows enough about our business he can deliver it virtually. He can translate things for us. During project management, Ant came into his own... Ant gets his head round your business and [took his time] understanding our context. He was really clear about pausing on investment into the app...Ant's inquisitive, curious and approachable - he's very easy to work with."

Gus McIntosh, Chief Executive - Winsborough

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James Armstrong, Director - MediData

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Bryce Currie, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer - Aerotruth

"No question has ever been too silly. Ant's been accommodating and helped me understand. I've valued that he understands the charitable sector really well. He can look through the experience that he has with larger organisations and what's the reality for a small and mighty charity where you don't have teams of people that can come in and project manage an IT project"

Nicola Keen-Biggelar, Chief Executive Drowning Prevention Auckland

"Having Anthony was really valuable – to lean in on his skillset – and his connections. He was able to provide impartial advice about the different strengths [of the providers]. It was important that we undertook a good due diligence process. Having Anthony there meant we had impartial selection as well, which is very important to us and [something] other not-for-profits [could benefit from]."

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