Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I am the founder and CEO of Assure APM. I provide strategic direction, vision and manage the building blocks we put in place to deliver strategy and business goals. I build teams and aim to generate a common business culture and ethos that is honest, pragmatic and strives always to deliver on its promises. I encourage invention and innovation on the basis that we need and want to differentiate ourselves from the pack.
What is it the company does?
Assure APM provides a unique range of advanced performance management technology and services which are designed to provide more visibility and control of Information Technology (IT). Until the automation of IT monitoring became a reality, management and outsource partnerships relied solely on open and honest communication between people.
Now there is no place to hide – our software creates absolute transparency, delivering output that can be understood by non technical business people as well as experts. Simply put, we can show that our technology and services reduce cost and increase availability in the IT space.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I have been in IT for over 40 years, I started in the early days of the industry, at The University of Edinburgh where I was part of the team which developed some of the first wide area computer networks.
I then moved to IT management roles and was responsible for designing and implementing a number of ground breaking innovations. I then went to Sales, followed by business management.
I have worked for multi-national brands and grown a company organically from zero to a turnover of £50 million as well as delivering high profile projects for the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.
I have been involved in the formulation, development, management and the sale of IT services businesses, most notably Stiell Networks. Most recently I spent five years broadening my horizons working on the development of various businesses including a large oil industry logistics group before moving on to found Assure APM in 2014.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
In my view a great leader is passionate yet pragmatic and inspires others with their vison and ethos.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
We have a unique business that can transform the way organisations manage and measure their IT environment.
The biggest challenge I face is convincing clients we are not making the false undeliverable promises that has so often dogged the reputation of the IT industry over the years.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I don’t do much to alleviate stress, I believe I thrive on it but I also acknowledge that others working with me may not feel the same. With this in mind I try and ensure we don’t take things too seriously, we can be determined without being consumed.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A wide range of things, Footballer, Golfer, Dentist and then I had a particularly worrying period where I wanted to be a politician.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
People who are late for meetings without offering any apology. This shows a lack of consideration and a disregard of the value of others precious time.
I will speak with any colleague who has a habit of being tardy, although I will not say a peep to customers!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Assure APM will be a key specialist part of a global entity driving innovation and transforming IT.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Think big and take baby steps.