How to build an IT strategy that lasts
Growing Business hosts a roundtable lunch with nine fast-growth businesses to discuss effective IT strategy from building bespoke systems to hiring talent
Thanks to our generous host Zynstra, Growing Business recently had the pleasure of holding a roundtable lunch with nine fast-growth business owners and IT directors.
Held at the exclusive London eaterie Villandry St James, the afternoon offered not only great food and company, but frank and insightful discussion.
Talking openly about the IT challenges of running a fast and often ever-evolving business, our guests were asked to tell us the issues currently most prevalent to them, discuss the challenges of finding an IT system that can scale, as well as share stories about hiring talent and choosing software.
And you can read exactly what was said – with mild censoring to protect sensitive information here, or by clicking the next button above or below. But first, who was in attendance?
We only invited fast-growth businesses employing 50 to 100 employees. You can read their brief biographies below.
Angus Elphinstone, AnyVan.com
Angus is CEO of AnyVan.com; a platform which facilitates the movement of items across the UK and Europe at a discounted rate. With over 1,650,000 users and 50,000 transport providers, the company is looking to disrupt the European transportation landscape with a focus on the removals, furniture, international and vehicle delivery markets. The business has over 60 employees.
Dan Germain, Perfect Channel
Dan is director of four year-old enterprise auction service Perfect Channel. Perfect Channel provides auction technology to help businesses maximise value and recently secured £2m funding from VC firm Beringea. Prior to Perfect Channel, Dan held executive positions within Cobweb Solutions and Outsourcery PLC.
David Lester, Startups.co.uk and citrusHR
David started his first business with almost no money when he was just 22 and sold it for millions before he was 30. He has since started several other successful businesses and invested in many more. David founded Startups.co.uk 15 years ago, and built it into the UK’s most popular independent website for small businesses. He also recently launched a new HR service business citrusHR.
Gary Turner, Xero
Gary is managing director at Xero, and joined the online accounting start-up shortly after its UK launch in 2009. Prior to heading up Xero’s UK operations, Gary held executive positions at Microsoft and accounting software vendor Pegasus Software, where as managing director he led a turnaround, doubling revenue over a four-year period.
Hugh Cox, Rosslyn Analytics
Hugh is co-founder and chief data officer of AIM-listed software company Rosslyn Analytics. Launched in 2007, Rosslyn Analytics specialises in data extraction, data cleansing and data enrichment and has a client base which includes Xerox and Coca Cola. Hugh has helped the business scale internationally with offices in London, New York and Chicago.
Iain Johnston, Semafone
Iain joined Semafone as chief operating officer at the beginning of this year. The growing UK software company provides secure payment technology for call centres. Before moving to Semafone in January, Iain spent 10 years as director at Strategic Transformation and was actually a Semafone customer in a previous role as head of the PCI programme at Sky.
Maurice Tunney, Keystone Law
Maurice is IT director at law firm Keystone Law. Maurice joined the company in October 2014 to drive forward the ongoing investment into technology that enables the firm to work effectively and collaboratively. Prior to joining Keystone, Maurice was responsible for developing the IT strategy and managing the portfolio of IT projects at Fieldfisher.
Nick East, Zynstra
Nick is co-founder and CEO of hybrid IT solutions firm Zynstra, heading up all aspects of the business worldwide. Nick was general manager for the “OSS” business at Amdocs before launching Zynstra where he managed a global team of over 500 people, working with over 100 telco customers worldwide. He also held roles at Cramer and the National Computing Centre – including time working extensively for the US Department of Defence.
Rob is founder and CEO of The Eventa Group; a multi-million events company which specialises in stag and hen dos and corporate parties. Rob launched the company in 2004 and revenues now sit at over £10m with a 70-strong team of staff. Rob is a member of the Young Guns alumni of fast-growth entrepreneurs.
The How to build an IT strategy that lasts roundtable discussion was sponsored by Zynstra. You can find out more about Zynstra’s hybrid IT solution here.