Each week on “Tech Champions,” our host Daniel Beaty sits down with experts in the information technology world. This week, Daniel spoke to Keir Bradshaw from MERGE.
Clients come to MERGE looking for a new way. For ideas and solutions that will make an impact.
To learn more, visit https://mergeworld.com.
Short company description: Clients come to MERGE looking for a new way. For ideas and solutions that will make an impact. They’re strivers and we know them. We understand them. Because that’s who we are, too. Strivers with deep category expertise built over decades of experience. With outside perspective and services built for modern business challenges. And when we all come together, that’s how you reach the next level.
What was your first role in the technology field?: My very first role in technology was with an Alzheimer’s research institute helping develop their digital properties in the early 2000’s. I primarily worked in classic ASP, PHP and Flash AS2 at the time. What made the role unique is that I was over digital and traditional. This understanding of design principles and the underlying technology has be the foundation for my understanding that technology is an enabler for organizations to make a more “human” connection with their employees and consumers.
What IT project are you most proud of?: Asking me this is like asking my favorite song, movie or book. There are many projects the come to mind and each is special to me for a different reason. That being said, there are a few that stand out. Working with a talented team of designers, developers and strategists, I was fortunate to help guide the development of the Sylvester Cancer Institute’s SCAN360 tool (https://www.scan360.com). The obvious beauty of this application is the presentation of complex data and statistics presented in a way that empowers researchers, politicians and community advocates to better understand and explain the challenge of treating cancer across multiple geographic, economic and social areas. However, the underlying data models and architectural design is thing of beauty and something I think the whole SCAN team should be proud of. I have a dozen examples of solutions I’ve been lucky to be a part of that have connected people in need with the services and providers who can best help them, but SCAN360 definitely stands out.
What is the biggest challenge that IT departments are facing today?: One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen in IT is the ability to scan and respond to the ever growing expectation of the consumer and the resulting needs from the marketing and sales teams within the organizations. Especially (though not uniquely) in healthcare, IT teams are faced with a multitude of vendors, platforms and technologies that often provide overlapping features or features that cannot be fully realized due to organizational or staffing limitations. This creates an extreme “technical” burden that can place organization at risk for overspending and underutilizing within their most important Martech tools.
Who is someone you would consider a mentor?: I’ve been lucky enough to have two major mentors in my professional career. The first is my development manager, David Seabury, who taught me that an understanding and respect for all level of the technical stack, network, server, data, application, presentation, user experience, etc. is important to provide solutions that truly enable users and increase the eminence of an organization’s brand. The second is my current boss and friend, Tom Brand. Tom has taught me so much about business, the impacts and power of technology and the power of storytelling, but the most important profession lesson he as taught me the is need to tie any and all technology initiative or project back to a business driver and a “need” within the user/consumer base.