Digital Transformation can seem like an intimidating prospect that many organisations struggle to understand. Cloud Cover IT’s Marketing Coordinator Emma Peters recently had a chance to sit down with Head of Digital Transformation Alasdair Gauld to discuss what Digital Transformation means to him, changes in technology, and celebrating the company’s 10 birthday.
Congratulations on Cloud Cover IT’s 10th birthday! How do you feel about celebrating a decade of the business?
I feel proud of what we are continuing to build. It has been interesting to see how the company has grown over the 10 years, and not only that it has been able to adapt but also thrives on adapting as technology moves.
Tech moves quickly, how would you say Cloud Cover IT has evolved through the last 10 years and how has the company adapted to changes?
It really does move quickly, just this morning I’ve been with my team looking at a brand-new Microsoft Power Apps feature that we think will have lots of applications for the things we build, proving that technology literally moves on a day-to-day basis.
Even going back to the very start of the company, Lance and I had a discussion about what the company name should be. We talked through various options, including Cloud Cover. I was a bit unsure as I didn’t quite know where the industry was going at that point, but it was the start of the Cloud boom within large organisations, and Lance predicted that in the next few years every organisation would be reliant on Cloud-based services. He was right, so he was ahead of the curve there.
It has been interesting to see how the different departments within the business have grown alongside the changes within different areas of IT, and how agile and quickly the business has adapted.
You joined the company in 2019 as Head of Digital Transformation. What does digital transformation mean to you, and can you tell us about the work your team carries out?
To me, digital transformation brings together two key elements: a deep understanding of what a company or team is trying to achieve, and the skills of my team in knowing where technology can help to do that better. Systems only ever work where the people who use them see real value, so as the name suggests any transformation needs to bring real value to the company and individuals doing it. The incredible digital tools available now provide a real opportunity for companies to do things better and more efficiently, allowing the staff involved to focus on bringing real value to the things that humans do better.
There is a lot of competition within the tech industry – what sets your team apart?
We established the company by saying that we would be great at the human part of IT. We achieve this by focusing on User-centric design when developing any solutions for our clients. With a background in product design, we have grown the Digital Transformation team to work with this process when we engage with any of our clients as no two are alike. By combining this with our multidisciplinary development team we aim to deliver successful Microsoft 365 Solutions.
What would you say are the main motivators for your team?
Being able to bring leading technology to our clients and seeing how our solutions are benefiting day-to-day working lives motivates us. My team are also always excited to continue learning and we enjoy keeping up with the latest technology. As we all know, Microsoft’s innovation cycles are fast and constantly moving all of their products forward – the team are always up for the challenge of trying new things and more importantly identifying where it will benefit our clients.
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?
We all know that IT can be stressful for people as not everyone has the same level of technical understanding. For me, the human part is understanding this and being able to recognise when it is necessary to change the approach when engaging with different users to reduce any unnecessary stress caused by going too technical.
What are your proudest achievements from your time at Cloud Cover IT?
Being able to get two products successfully uploaded onto the app store within Microsoft [our Microsoft Teams apps check.it and gauge.it] has been a very proud achievement for my team and me.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned?
That it’s far better to work as a team to come up with a solution than to try and think of one in isolation – something that has been put to the test over the last couple of years as the team has adapted to initially remote working and now hybrid working.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to join the tech industry today?
I would recommend that newcomers start by learning low code as it is a great way to begin building that development structure in an easy environment. There are also lots of communities out there that can help and support you, utilise them.
We’ve discussed how the tech industry has changed; how do you think it will continue to change?
I believe that as the cloud continues to grow, the way users understand and consume data will head toward a more interactive future. I’m looking forward to seeing if this does happen, and the impact it will have not only on Cloud Cover IT, but the whole industry.
Are there any exciting projects that the Digital Transformation team are working on right now (that you can tell us about)?
There are a lot of exciting things happening in the Microsoft Teams and Power Platform environment right now that we are focusing on. I can’t give too many details, but there are a few things in the pipeline at the moment that will make the rest of 2022 very exciting!
Where would you like CCIT to be in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be able to look back to this point and see continuous growth between now and then. Part of this would be continuing to grow our presence both throughout the UK and internationally as we continue to grow as a company.
Alasdair will be hosting a free virtual event on the 15th of July 2022. Book your spot here to attend ‘Lunch and Learn: Improve Employee Wellbeing with gauge.it’ and hear Alasdair discuss our new Microsoft Teams app.
You can follow Alasdair on Linked in here.