In this era of fast-paced technical innovation, and ever-increasing security threats, ensuring that your organisations IT is fit for purpose, is a daunting prospect.
MHA Macintyre Hudson’s Technology Advisory Services practice recognises that it is not always viable for mid-market organisations to have a dedicated IT Director, and responsibility, in addition to their main role, is often handed to another senior executive. We call them “The Quasi IT Director” ®.
The Quasi IT Director, usually with the help of an IT Manager/Technician or outsourced IT company, keep the systems running day-to-day, but does not have the time or resources to discover if they have the best solutions in place. They cannot dedicate time to understand what else might be out there. This is where we come in. We can provide the Quasi IT Director with that crucial strategic and operational advice necessary to run an efficient, cost-effective and productive IT service.
Our highly experienced expert team work across all industry sectors and provide independent vendor-agnostic advice that will ensure your IT is making your organisation more efficient, competitive and innovative. Since we are not tied to any vendor partnerships, dealers or solutions, our advice is based on our extensive experience and exhaustive knowledge of current IT trends.
We provide a comprehensive range of IT services based on the individual needs of our clients. Some of these are detailed below:
The Quasi IT Director who may be new to an organisation, or has just taken over responsibility for the IT, may be unsure about the applications and infrastructure already in place. Acting as a “critical friend”, we can conduct a thorough review of the systems a client has in place, and what needs to be considered for the future.
Reoccurring or specific issues with people, process or technology, are closely examined to diagnose the issue, providing recommendations on the best solution.
As an organisation grows or expands, particularly through mergers and acquisitions, we can offer independent advice on how best to consolidate the IT infrastructure and applications, and ensure systems are robust, resilient, secure and scalable for future growth.
We can also review how the IT support team is structured, relationships with external providers, the existing processes, and the underlying technology that is in place.
When upgrading or replacing a major business application, such as your finance or ERP system, it is crucial that you make the right decisions, otherwise, the system may need to be replaced again in two to three years. Knowing where to begin amid the sheer volume of information and possible solutions however, can feel overwhelming.
We work closely with clients to develop a comprehensive business requirements specification that will tease out the deeper needs. We can assist in every aspect of the procurement process including; tender management, contract negotiations and ensuring clients are prepared for implementation.
Our broad experience and detailed industry knowledge means we can challenge vendors based on the exact specifications. We can manage the entire process, freeing clients to concentrate on their day job, thus avoiding time-consuming vendor meetings.
By engaging us to act as the interface in the procurement process, we will ensure the new application will not only meet all of today’s requirements but will have the longevity to meet those of tomorrow.
We understand that the Quasi IT Director requires truly independent strategic advice. In the mid-market, in-house IT staff are unlikely to have the broader knowledge and experience, and local IT vendors will often have a commercial agenda.
Our Technology Advisory Services practice is not a computer reseller; we are completely vendor-agnostic, and clients rely on us to offer impartial advice based on our extensive experience and knowledge of current industry trends.
For clients reviewing their business strategy, we can work with the organisation to provide an independent assessment of how it will impact IT over the next few years.
Depending on individual client needs, we can offer this on a project basis where we can identify the requirements and develop a roadmap to achieving them. We can also work on an on-going basis becoming the de facto IT Director, sitting in on regular board meetings representing IT, and offering impartial advice and guidance as required.
Not all organisations have the internal resources available to oversee the implementation of a new IT system or business application, and sometimes lack the necessary expertise to keep in-flight projects on track.
Our experienced and industry qualified project management professionals can guide clients from project kick-off (or from any point in the process), helping to navigate all issues and risks, and ensuring the correct governance and cost controls are in place.
We can also step in if a project looks set to fail, or where there are concerns it will not deliver the expected outcome. We will conduct an independent review of the project, resolve the issues and make recommendations on how to get the project back on track.
Often working with our Corporate Finance colleagues, we can provide crucial IT due diligence that will reduce risk and provide clients with the vital knowledge that can accelerate transactions and identify exposure up front.
For vendors, we review the current infrastructure and provide reassurance that IT issues will not impact the sale. Where issues are found, we will make independent recommendations on what needs to be done before the sale should proceed.
During an acquisition, we carry out a full assessment of existing systems used by the target organisation. We will review their infrastructure to ensure it is fit for purpose before the transaction is completed, reducing the risk of unforeseen costs at a later date.
The General Data Protection Regulation affects every organisation across all sectors. It is crucial therefore that our clients understand their obligations since fines for non-compliance can be high.
Although boilerplate templates are readily available, a one-size-fits-all solution will not ensure robust compliance.
Our tailored approach allows us to work closely with each client to conduct data audits, identify what data can be held and what can’t. We also help map out processes, create policies and highlight where risks exist.
We can change your organisations attitude towards cyber security by training your staff to be aware of the daily threats they will be exposed to, and how to respond to them.
Where necessary, we can continue to work with your organisation to ensure that privacy principles are maintained and that you remain compliant.
Rather than recruit experienced personnel, mid-market organisations will often develop IT staff from elsewhere in the organisation.
This often works well, and the knowledge and skills acquired along the way allow the IT Manager to provide a good IT support service. But, as the organisation grows, their experience and qualifications may not be enough to fully develop their role. At this point, a more robust and industry standard approach is required.
We work closely with IT Managers to offer the mentoring and guidance they need to excel. Ensuring that they put in place the necessary levels of governance, process, and monitoring to deliver continuous improvement. This will not only boost the IT department’s role in the organisation, but it will also help it to grow, rather than restrict it.
Where the IT department is underperforming, we can assess the issues and work with the IT Manager to boost their performance. If this is not successful, then we can work with HR to develop a performance improvement plan.
Gavin joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson in June 2018 and is the Partner who leads our Technology Advisory Services practice. He joined the firm from BDO LLP where he led the technology consultancy practice for more than five years. Gavin has more than 35 years of experience in the IT industry and, besides running his own IT consultancy business for ten years, has worked for some of the worlds largest IT companies including; Fujitsu, Dell, Capita, Ricoh and Atos.
As well as a formal training in Electronic Engineering, Gavin holds several industry qualifications including; MCSE, PRINCE2, ITIL and CISM. In previous roles Gavin has developed global IT consulting methodologies, delivered (and recovered) several large high-profile IT projects as well as managing large teams of consultants, engineers and project managers.
Technology Advisory Services provides a range of services to support business in the mid-market. In these businesses it is not uncommon to find the Finance Director (or other senior board member) responsible for IT. Gavin calls them “The Quasi IT Director” ® and typically they become reliant on junior IT staff or third-party IT support companies for strategic advice, which may not always be in the best interest of the company.
Gavin and his team are completely independent and can provide advice that is based around your business and specific requirements. Typical services include:
Gavin also supports the MHA MacIntyre Hudson Corporate Finance Mergers and Acquisitions teams by providing IT due diligence on both the buy and sell side.Get in touch with Gavin Davis
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