It's Never Just the Tech

Beyond Algorithms: How People and Processes Amplify Technology Impact

Welcome to the first issue of Global Tech Explorer. I'm Jamie Thompson, founder of Sprinklenet, where we harness technology and systems optimization to solve problems for businesses.

Today, I'm sharing insights from a recent challenge, one that illustrates a broader truth in the tech industry: it's never just about the technology.

Recently, my team at Sprinklenet worked on a project that was both a significant opportunity and a reflection of our ability to assemble world-class professionals across disciplines. We spent months preparing a detailed plan, collaborating with a small group of exceptional partners.

This project was a chance to provide a very large managed services program to a particularly unique client that was facing a growing, multifaceted problem. They faced a set of operational challenges that were known and had spiraled in size and complexity over a number of years.

The challenges involved lack of visibility into major asset categories within the enterprise, lack of traceability into the systems used to manage said assets, and critical delays in the ability of internal staff to respond to the needs of senior leadership’s directives to integrate with legacy systems used for broader enterprise operations.

We were confident in our technical solution, crafted from decades of collective expertise and deep industry knowledge. Our approach was comprehensive, integrating the right mix of hardware, software, and human talent to ensure success.

However, we encountered a hurdle that many in tech will recognize—a procedural requirement for a SOC audit. In my previous ventures, including a digital document management company where we provided solutions to highly regulated industries and an AI-driven software company in the computer vision space, the importance of regulatory compliance and procedural checks was clear. At Sprinklenet, though, our focus has been more consultative and project oriented where we design and build solutions that we hand over to our clients; solutions that are robust yet adaptable, designed to evolve as needs change with or without our ongoing oversight.

Building out and supporting managed services is a relatively new component to our offerings, but it’s become clear that due to the rapidly changing nature of technology (AI-powered solutions, in particular), managed services are often an easier way for end clients to get faster, maximum benefits from new tech.

This time, I underestimated the importance of a pre-existing audit, not because of oversight, but from a focus on what would deliver the best outcome for the client and the fact that we had never needed such a thing in the past. It's a reminder that in the world of tech solutions, balancing innovation with external compliance systems is not just necessary, it's essential.

I took this experience as a reminder to myself that the value in technology solutions lies not in a single piece of software or hardware but in the results of the entire process and output; even when that includes what seems like orthogonal external reviews. This includes the stack of technology components, yes, but also the stack of people and their expertise.

I've always believed that the real measure of technology isn't just in its functionality, but in how it integrates into the larger systems of human operations and objectives.

We’re trying to solve problems and make things better for end users. Humans are 100% always part of the equation. Maybe someday we’ll be solving problems for robots, but for now, we focus on solving for humans.

In assessing new AI technologies, for example, we don't just look at what these tools can do in theory. We examine how they perform in real-world applications and how users interact with them before integrating them into complex business environments to enhance or streamline operations. This practical evaluation is crucial—powerful AI can only achieve its potential when it's applied by people who deeply understand both the technology and the context in which it operates.

Experience has taught me that while technology is powerful, it's the integration of skilled people and well-designed processes that truly drives success. As we continue to evolve in a tech-driven world, the interplay between innovation and operational diligence will become even more critical.

The entrepreneur in me is not a fan of bureaucracy or systems that seemingly only serve to slow down progress, but I do need to keep in mind that not every organization can bypass procedures. The experience is a stark reminder that in large enterprise organizations (because startups and smaller companies are inherently a lot different), it’s not just the solution, no matter how well designed and tested, that matters—it’s the people and processes that often need to become part of the systems improvement along the way.

If your employees, partners and associates are fully committed to the growth plans (and embrace the technology as a generally good move for themselves and the business) you’ll see much higher success. That said, there are likely always going to be some human-oriented roadblocks to efficiency optimization that need to be considered in the mix.

Through Global Tech Explorer, I look forward to sharing more about how technology, when combined with the right people and processes, can create not just solutions, but valuable transformations. Here, we’ll explore the endless possibilities of technology when driven by human insight and expertise.

Remember, as we navigate the future, it’s clear that in the complex tapestry of technology solutions, it's never just the tech.

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