What We're About: Achieving IT Mastery to Create Measurable Business Value
Renaissance Tech & Media is a Boston-based boutique consulting agency that helps organizations, their teams, and their leaders deliver transformative, technology-focused solutions across a range of industry and institutional environments. Founded and managed by veteran technologist Michael Thomas Clark, RTM offers deep expertise in the full IT lifecycle, from systems strategy development to architectural design to operational deployment and management. With a broad portfolio of accomplishments in distributed systems and complex program delivery, our services are sought by both IT departments and technology vendors alike. We tend to work with small-medium-enterprise (SME) clients and early-stage tech startup firms, those with whom we feel we can partner most closely and realize maximum business impact. Our practice employs Agile and DevOps methods. We also partner with select affiliate technology firms, from software to hardware companies to services and hosting providers, to ensure optimal fulfillment of our customers' needs. While most of our assets are located in the Boston area, we leverage a select network of talent that allows us to execute anywhere on the globe where we can establish an Internet connection.
Achieving operational delivery excellence involves much more than deploying great technology, as both creators of business-enabling technologies and consumers of those products will attest. Mindset, vision, perspective, ability to execute: these matter just as much as the technology itself – in fact, more. Indeed, in times of rapid, disruptive change, such as the one in which we live today, the ability to understand the extent to which legacy industry practices and approaches are no longer adequate to the requirements of most enterprises is a crucial differentiator in determining the success of our efforts, no matter the particular enterprise context. Just as the specifics of computing itself, from processors to programming frameworks to platform paradigms, have changed at an increasingly dizzying pace in recent years, so the need has arisen to manage our technology product cycles and computing environments in new and creative ways – ways that will deliver value to our customers far more quickly, flexibly, and accountably. Innovation in our thinking about technology execution comes to be expressed in cultural forms, in more collaborative and customer-focused ways. It's been shown to lead, time and again to better outcomes for producers and consumers alike. As one of the sayings currently in vogue goes, "culture eats strategy for breakfast." I would add that it continues this feast unabated throughout the rest of the day. It is precisely here, on the ground of culture and mindset, where organizations typically meet their toughest challenges on the technology delivery front. Overcoming the obstacles thrown up by legacy organizational cultures are often one of our primary challenges.
Yet change is all around us, no question. No matter what labels one assigns to these newer approaches to technology delivery – whether "agile" or "bi-modal" or the "continuous delivery" of the DevOps movement – and no matter how formal the execution frameworks one chooses to employ, there is no question that fundamental changes are at work across the landscape we tend to daily. Many of these changes have been gathering steam for a while now. What seems different, to me at least, is that some key concepts have emerged as organizing principles, notions compelling and powerful enough to make us rethink our old certainties. I have come to think of this current and still-emerging state of affairs as being reminiscent of renaissances past, times when new winds manifested important, world-transforming realities.
Over the course of my years as a technologist, I've found myself drawn toward broader landscapes and larger problem spaces, toward challenges that play out at the ever-more-complex intersections of business and technology delivery. For me, this is where the real excitement in technology is. Unlike many who have pursued careers in technology over the past generation or so, I am less inclined to follow the direction of the narrowly-construed specialist, focused primarily on a single-platform or vendor product set or problem area. This is a double-edged sword to be sure, requiring one, of necessity, to "go deep" in multiple critical areas, from infrastructure platforms and networking to cloud management and cybersecurity. Maintaining a high degree of technical currency across such a broad landscape is clearly necessary to be able to deliver on our stated goal: that of helping you solve your toughest technology delivery challenges.
Yet technical currency is clearly not enough. Information systems and their enabling platform challenges have always operated at the intersection of people, processes, and technology. To succeed in the world of technology management is to be able to navigate among and within those three overlapping spheres. The ability to do so in a world of rapid change, where the structures and processes in vogue, say, 5 or 6 years ago, are no longer "good enough," where one has to embrace constant disruption and innovation on a daily basis – understanding how to achieve mastery and business success alike in this new, "always on," digital world – that ability is precisely what we bring to you.
The canvas I've laid out above is both broad and ambitious. If anything I've articulated here resonates, then getting to work on the details that will help you and your organization move to a higher level of achievement is the next step. But what details, and in what combination and order? How, in short, does one proceed to achieve the mastery necessary to deliver on that goal? There is, of course, no one answer to this question. There is, instead, a process and a journey to be undertaken. Yours will differ from others depending upon your specific circumstances. And yet, at a high level, the fundamentals are universal. That's where we begin with our clients, by focusing on the fundamentals that we determine together are necessary to achieve success.
Education & Development
Amazon Web Services: Solutions Architecture, DevOps, & Security Programs, 2018 in progress
MIT Professional Education Program: Data to Insights, 2017
Microsoft DevOps Certification Program, 2016-17
Microsoft Data Science Program, 2016-17
MIT Experimental Ed Program: Big Data & Social Analytics, 2016
MIT Sloan School of Management, Center for Information Systems Research, Summer Program in Digital Leadership, 2015
Harvard University, School of Continuing Education, Graduate IT Program, 2009-2011
Brandeis University, Irving & Rose Crown Fellow in the History of American Civilization
The University of Western Ontario, B.A., Honours English & History