Celebrating 10 Years of Cloud Cover IT: an Interview with Lance Gauld

Cloud Cover IT is celebrating it’s 10th birthday in April 2022. To mark the occasion, Marketing Coordinator Emma Peters caught up with Founder and Managing Director Lance Gauld.

Congratulations on Cloud Cover IT’s 10th birthday! How do you feel about reaching a decade of Cloud Cover IT?

Distinctly older! I never considered when we started up 10 years ago that we would be sitting with over 35 staff now. I still get up in the morning excited to go to work because there are always interesting things going on. Of course, with everything, there can still be bad days, but most of the time it’s still very interesting and I can see that we are still growing. I didn’t expect it to be like this 10 years ago if I’m honest I’m still a bit surprised!

Has it been a quick 10 years?

It has rocketed by! There have been so many adventures, work and personal. So much has happened in the last 10 years, so I can’t complain, it has gone in a blink of an eye.

In 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped off a balloon 13 miles above the earth , Tim Cook was taking the reins at Apple and, we were excited about the iPhone 5 (Actually the best iPhone ever) and, Microsoft launched Windows8.Tech moves quickly, how would you say Cloud Cover IT has evolved through the 10 years and how have you adapted to changes?

As with everything we have had to adapt very quickly to change.  It is interesting though, when you go back and look at 2012, 2002, or 1992, the actual way of doing things hasn’t changed as much as it has changed in the last two years.  The last 10 years have of course been very important, but the last two years have been extremely important.

One thing we like to say here at CCIT is that we are the best at the ‘human part of IT’. What does this mean to you?

That means that we try to talk in plain English to our customers. I wasn’t brought up with IT, I got into it at 22/23 and had to learn it in plain English, ergo I find it easier to talk to people about the benefits of what IT does, rather than talking about RAMs, Chips etc. That has really helped us, the ethos of talk in plain English to people, don’t hide behind the scientific talk. Don’t try to bamboozle clients, speak to them in a way everyone will understand.

What are your proudest achievements from the last 10 years?

Bringing my son Alasdair into the business has been fantastic. The pride and fear of being responsible for 35 people’s livelihoods. I feel proud that we help people provide for their families, as family is very important to me. The achievements of March 2020, the challenge of helping 3000 – 4000 people work from home was immense, as was the amount of work we put in. We helped companies across many of the key industries during the pandemic.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt?

It’s not what you know, it is who you know and how you make use of your contacts. It’s also employing the right people, I don’t get involved in the tech anymore, I am reliant on my team. It’s building teams and getting people to work together that’s the biggest lesson. Probably before 10 years passed, everything used to just be me, but now I’ve realized I have to share – and I’m not good at sharing my toys!

Even after 10 years, you still always say that you are excited to come to work everyday. Why do you think this is/what motivates you?

My passions are adrenaline sports – motor racing, racing mountain bikes. I classify managing the business as another adrenaline support. I’ve always got goals, I’ve always got achievements, I am quite ambitious. These three areas mean it’s an extension of leisure for me.

We’ve discussed how the tech industry has changed; how do you think it will continue to change?

The six-million-dollar question! Will it carry on with its concentration on home working? I think for better or worse, there will be more telemetry based on how well people are working, both from office or home-based solutions. It does concern me that a ‘big brother is watching you element’ may be coming into it, which has to be pushed back against, but other than that I think it will be more of the same. More hybrid working, more making systems integrated. One day you will be able to send your car to the shops and get your messages for you – we can’t be far from that! I think there will be a lot more integration between our IT and the rest of our living.

Are there any exciting projects that CCIT is working on right now (that you can tell us about)?

Yes, there are various projects. We are working hard on ISO27001 to enable us to get into more government-related projects. We’re also being asked to do things that are going to be very exciting for the future, our clientele is getting bigger and bigger. We love having the personal touch with our smaller clients, but the reality is there are a lot of bigger clients coming along the road. We are looking at other developments, especially into 2023, that will allow the company to grow.

Where would you like CCIT to be in 10 years’ time?

Barbados!

I second that.

It seems reasonable! I think we will evolve into two separate organisations, with the software side of things and the infrastructure side of things. We will grow those two sides of the businesses together and separately.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to join the tech industry today?

There are so many different areas in tech that you can try to specialize in. You’ve got to be forward-thinking about what area you would like to specialize in – communications is always going to be very important, software development is important. In our industry, we need more and more people to come from schools. We would love to be more closely connected to schools and universities to show people what real life is like as people come out of university using software that is 3 – 4 years old, rather than being more cutting edge. It would be great to see more young people coming into the industry with cutting edge experience.

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your clients?

Thank you for everything and all the support you have given us. Without the clients, we would not be here. Mostly we’ve had good times, but there have been some tough times and clients have had some tough problems to solve. It’s great that they’ve stuck with us through the good and bad times. We have a lot of clients that were with us 10 years ago, and it’s great to see them still there. Personally, some of the clients have worked with me for over 30 years and are into the third generation of the family business. I started working with the grandfather and it’s now the grandchild I’m working with! That’s exciting and interesting. We are a family business and it’s nice to see other family businesses do well. We’ve been lucky enough to grow alongside our clients.

View Lance’s message to clients and colleagues below:

Cloud Cover IT is on LinkedIn, follow us here.