Mark Elders, operations director at itc. talks to BQ about the importance of being focused on your team and why he recommends Digital Enterprise and Digital Knowledge Exchange to others.
What is it the company does?
We deliver fast business Internet services from broadband to dark fibre. We have also built our very own high capacity wireless metropolitan network in Bradford (soon to be in Leeds) and we now deliver ultrafast Wireless Fibre services at an affordable price. We also provide managed business phone system solutions from cloud, locally hosted PBX, to hybrid combinations of both, including added resiliency for disaster recovery.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
My role as operations Director is to ensure the smooth running of the business from a technical point of view and to look at new technologies which we can incorporate into our existing portfolio to enable growth through new business sales.
How did you come to do the work that you do?
I have been working within the ISP industry for more than 20 years and have been part of the Internet journey since the beginning. My speciality and interests lie within the connectivity and network side and I have a fascination for unique bespoke solutions. Combining all of these interests is probably what has taken me on this journey to the place I am now. A place where I am really happy!
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
The biggest challenge, as with any job, is to decide where you want to be and then work out how to get there. You are faced with a thousand options and only one or two will take you where you want to be. As a decision maker the choices you face affect not just yourself, but everyone you work with. This is why the choices you make have to be the right choices. It’s not just about making a profit for the company. It’s more about looking after your staff, making them happy!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
In five years’ time, we plan to be in new and bigger premises. We hope to have at least doubled the number of staff we employ, and we plan to have at least doubled our turnover. It is hoped that by then we will have exported our services to other regions of the United Kingdom and we will have also been very successful in the development of a very special technology which is not yet widely available.
Why did you take part in Digital Enterprise or Digital Knowledge Exchange?
As a digital business, it was pretty obvious to see that Digital Enterprise was there to help SMEs grow and develop, and it also seemed clear that we could also use Digital Enterprise to help our customers. One key area where this has happened is helping our customers to access the Digital Voucher Scheme. This has proved to be very beneficial to our customers who, through the voucher scheme, can now use technologies that they couldn’t otherwise afford.
What has the Digital Enterprise or Digital Knowledge Exchange done for your business?
Through the help of Digital Enterprise support and the use of the Digital Voucher Scheme, we have been able to develop our own services and attract more customers who, in turn, have then been able to access superior products and services to benefit their own businesses. The benefit to itc. has been an advancement in business growth and credibility.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
As we grow we all suffer the bumps and scrapes that life throws at us. Nevertheless, we carry on because we have to. We all make mistakes and we all learn from them so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. That’s life and it’s all part of growing up. In business, it’s just the same. Nobody is perfect and we will all make mistakes. The advice I would give is that you should remember your own journey through life and realise that no matter what happened you always managed to get through and that’s why you are here today. Follow your dream and never give up. Oh, and remember one thing. The people you lead are the most important part of your business!
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
I wish someone had told me to do it sooner! I wish someone had told me to believe in myself and follow my dreams!
Why would you recommend Digital Enterprise or the Digital Knowledge Exchange
Having worked with and experienced Digital Enterprise I know, and I can say, that it works for and helps anyone who needs it. We can all share our knowledge and experience to help create something great!
If you liked this post, please share with your friends and followers. If you are interested in digital, why not check out the Digital Enterprise Top 100, a major initiative to identify those companies that are setting an example for others to follow within the world of digital transformation.
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement