Ep 10: Linda Lynch: IT Leader, Author, and Practical Problem Solver

Diva Tech Talk recently sat down with Linda Lynch, president of KI Technology Group, an IT services provider that helps small and medium-sized businesses grow through the best use of appropriate, cost-effective technology.

A software programmer, by training, Linda held developer positions at Consumers’ Energy and Burroughs Corporation before joining KI in 1986. She acquired an ownership interest in the company in 1990 and has been president since 1992.  

Linda was instrumental in managing KI Technology Group’s transition from a software company to a full service technology company, now providing diverse outsourced IT services to businesses in the greater Lansing, Michigan region. 

A hallmark of Linda’s evolving career is her practical and straight forward approach. “I started college with a strong interest in theoretical math,” she shares. “But I was drawn to computer science because programmers solve real problems!”

Having begun by learning classic languages like Fortran and Cobol (“on punch cards,” she laughs, “I guess I am ‘dating’ myself…”), she and her team are always excited about new, transformative technology trends changing the way her customers do business. The top three trends that Linda thinks are currently making significant differences in the business landscape are cloud-based solutions, mobile applications, and the proliferation of computing devices (particularly smart phones) being used by customers for a variety of applications. 

Linda characterizes her best professional skill as the fact that “I can talk in a language that a client can understand” vs. “techspeak”. So it is no surprise that in addition to her role leading KI, Linda is also the author of several books.  One of them is the self-published Executive’s Guide to Trouble-Free IT.  She describes this labor of love as having taken much longer than she expected.  (“I thought it would be 6-8 weeks, but instead from beginning to end, the project took 6 to 8 months!”).

Additionally, in collaboration with other technology and business experts, she authored a chapter on IT outsourcing in The Tech Multiplier (available on Amazon).  

“It was an Amazon best seller on the day it launched!” she says, proudly.

Linda is a strong believer in collaboration, and demonstrates that through constant civic and professional involvement.  She characterizes the groups from whom she gets advice and to which she contributes as “very helpful".

Those professional associations include CompTIA, —where she served on the Board of Directors, the ASCII Group, the CareerQuest Advisory Council, the Rotary Club of Lansing, and The Founding Chapter of the National Association of Career Women — where she served as President. Linda also credits an informal group of 8-10 technology CEO’s as helping her keep her company thriving, by filling in gaps that she perceives she might have.  With all of these groups, Linda gives and gets great advice and insight.

“Together, we are good at everything,” she says.

Linda does not think that being a woman has seriously hampered her career or her company.  While she acknowledges that there are some revenue opportunities that have been harder to get because she may not be in “the old boys’ club,” she philosophically says: “There is plenty of business out there,” so Linda and her team cheerfully pursues it!

In keeping with her pragmatic nature, Linda’s words of counsel for other leaders are direct, actionable, and also profound in their simplicity:

  • “Decide what you want.  Then go after it.”
  • “You can’t be good at everything…so you have to surround yourself with people, who are good at the things that you are not.  Then rely on them.”
  • “Only you know what you can do.  Just set out to do it!”

Linda Lynch is the President of KI Technology Group - http://kitechnologygroup.com/

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