Having featured in the Hiscox Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2016, Suzanne Dunn from SD Initiative puts our CEO under the spotlight
Managed 24/7 were listed at number 48 of the Hiscox Sunday Times Tech 100 in September 2016.
John Pepper CEO & Founder of Managed 24/7 talks to Suzanne Dunn (owner of SD Initiative - Executive Search Agency) on what it takes to succeed in growing businesses from scratch and the future of the technical services industry.
What does Managed 24/7’s inclusion in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 mean to you?
Managed 24/7 is the second business I have grown from scratch to be included in the list. My first was started in 2002 and listed on the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 in 2007. It still means so much to me. I never would have imagined at that time that I would go on to set up another business to be included in that list. The UK has such an incredible and innovative tech industry and I am so privileged to play a role.
What is Managed 24/7’s Secret to Success?
In an industry that is evolving by the hour it is very difficult to design a business that continues to be relevant at a point in time, let alone continue to be seen as an innovator or disruptor in the industry. The vision for the business is the same from the initial plans drawn up in 2009. However how we execute is very much the secret to our success. We are a team that is not afraid of challenging the “norm” if we believe we can do something better to deliver exceptional services to our clients.
Controlled Automation vs Human Intervention
What was the “vision”?
I knew there was a better way to running IT, Telecoms and IoT than customers having to ring a help desk and waiting x minutes. Harnessing the power of Predictive Analytics has allowed us to free end users from that pain. Whilst we are by no means at the end game, we have come a long way and every day we push boundaries to allow our customers concentrate on what they do best. Controlled Automation vs Human Intervention if you will.
What does it take to grow a business from start-up?
It is easier than ever to press a button and start a business in the UK. It is also very easy to come up with an idea. It is the passion, energy and continual belief that makes it a success. In start-up mode you must eat, sleep and repeat the vision and don’t ever give up. I spent many nights at Managed 24/7 in a sleeping bag on the office floor – sleep for an hour, work for an hour. It takes its toll but that is the determination needed to succeed. I therefore have utmost respect for anybody starting or running a business.
Also don’t get to tied down on things you think you can save money on. Spending a week on a web design course is a waste of time, you will lose your focus and it will never look “good”. Leave it to the professionals. Spend that time instead getting on the phone and out of the office meeting people and selling your vision.
I have the same energy and passion about Managed 24/7 as I had on the first day. Although I am pleased to say I have now put the sleeping bag in a filing cabinet.
The other key ingredient is people. Hire people more talented than you and learn from them. Set a clear vision, mission and culture statement so everybody understands where the business is going, what is expected and what they will gain in return.
Traditional IT services are already extinct
What is the future for your sector – Managed IT Services?
I see automation playing a bigger role. IT is getting more complex by design and it is no longer something than can be turned off for 4 hours without business impact. With IoT you cross into paths of controlling machinery that can cause serious injury or even fatality. Traditional IT services are already extinct, there is just nothing yet to fill the void to give customers an alternative. We have been working with Predictive Analytics and Automation for over 2 years now. It is a very exciting area of work and look forward to changing the way this industry thinks about IT & IoT services as we progress.
Imagine a pilot flying a commercial airliner with all of its complicated engineering without any instruments and with no view out of the window. That is how many companies run their IT & IoT, frankly it is a frightening concept. We are going to provide all the instrumentation, autopilots and views out of the cockpit window.
What is the future for Managed 24/7?
Key is we are here to stay. We have some very big plans for the future, but all of these revolve around customer excellence and ability to offer services that are relevant and bring substantial benefits to our customers. This requires us to innovate and we will never enter into a financial partnership with organisations that stop us from innovating. We have created an award winning Managed Services company and we are very much at the start of our journey.
Suzanne Dunn is the owner of SD Initiative. SD Initiative Ltd uses an executive search methodology which provides the client with an honest, transparent and bespoke service. They know where to find the 'best' candidates and use market intelligence to support the industries they recruit for. SD Initiative loves to meet and speak to new people every day and thrive on being able to help organisations grow. When you believe in what you do, you have the ability to be successful! http://www.sdinitiative.com