Hi Alasdair, thank you for making the time to talk with us today and congratulations on the ongoing successes of your business iDelivery Solutions Group! What have been the biggest challenges so far in starting up your own business and how have you overcame them?
As a company we are in the start-up world and as everyone knows, the next five years will be a pretty good measure on how successful our company will be.
One of our main challenges when we first started our business was trying to predict the future, which we have now learned, you can’t!
Instead, we have adopted the philosophy that when the future presents itself, we are prepared to react. Sure, the world of tech changes continuously, but we have core principles that we firmly stay true to. As we grow, we are seeking talented and passionate consultants who are keen to work with our clients to enable them make intelligent use of people, processes and tools.
Why did you start up a business focusing on Technical Testing and DevOps solutions?
The reason why we wanted to start up a business focusing on Technical testing and DevOps was because of our combined expertise and skills. We identified we could work with clients to enable them to get to a better maturity level with regards to delivery and quality of service and, as a natural by-product, save money to enable an increase in spend in other critical areas of their business. Thus, essentially, enabling companies to launch without fail.
If you were to sum up the culture of iDelivery Solutions Group in 4 words, what would they be?
Progressive, Open, Passionate, Agile.
What’s exciting you the most about where your business is going currently?
This is a difficult question as I am not sure where to start! There are so many things that are currently exciting me about our business and the direction in which it is headed!
This year we are launching our Academy which is designed to help onboard and train up graduates who are looking to get into tech, alongside that we are running programmes to help the ex-armed forces with IT experience come into our business and train up their skills.
Of course there is also our new offering iFlex that I am really excited about also! iFlex enables automated testing to become affordable and cost effective to organisations of any size, across all business sectors. It creates the opportunity for any sized organization to utilise highly advanced automated testing techniques that will in turn reduce risk, resource requirements and cost, as well as drive efficiency in systems delivery and build quality in to their applications using an automation first approach to testing
Also rather exciting for us, it is delivered from our new offices in the centre of Manchester!
A tech skills gap in the UK is consistently being reported upon; which skillsets are you struggling to hire experts in and what do you think can be done further to plug the UK’s burgeoning skills gap in IT?
I believe it is up to organisations like ourselves to plug the skills gap in the UK. For example, we have introduced a graduate academy focusing on providing a strong platform for the next generation of tech skills as well as a number of programmes supporting ex forces personnel wanting to get back into the work environment.
We are absolutely committed to ensuring we give our consultants the right skill sets to help our clients’ businesses succeed.
You have new offices opening in uber cool Spinningfields in Manchester city centre, soon. Manchester is increasingly described as a tech hub, what do you think are its strengths and its weaknesses?
We have had fantastic success in the last two years and are very excited about our new offices opening in Manchester! A high number of our management team is from the Manchester area, so we are thrilled to support the city’s ongoing growth and development. Due to the success of the last two years we have been able to open offices in London, Budapest and South Africa, which only further strengthens our reach in EMEA and allows us to furthermore support our clients at ground-level.
What do you think are the 4 major no no’s when it comes to recruiting Testing and DevOps professionals into any of your offices throughout the UK?
A major no no for us is hiring an individual who has no passion for the tech industry. We are collectively impassioned about how fast moving and innovative the world of tech is, and an individual who doesn’t share that same enthusiasm is not the best cultural fit for us.
A low level of commercial acumen is a no no for me also. A solid level of commercial understanding equates to empathy for a client’s business goals and objectives, and is as key for us culturally as their rock-star tech skills!
Another no no is someone who is not a team player. Each of us get involved and help out regularly on a number of activities and tasks to assist the overall business’s objectives, and ensure our clients are satisfied. An individual averse to helping out on what they perceive to be over and beyond their job description, is not a great fit for us.
Personality is another key area for our business. We are a fast growing start- up, so a no no for me would be an individual who doesn’t fully grasp the ethos of a start up! It can be hard work, but equally, it can reap some fantastic rewards on many levels. Someone who is flexible and willing to embrace innovation and opportunities is a yes yes for me!
If you were to describe your journey with iDelivery Solutions Group to date as a movie title, what would it be?
Gone in 60 seconds
Which traits are an essential cultural fit for you?
Positivity, creativity and enthusiastic
If you were to design an app for the greater good, what would it be?
I would build an app that takes the content from digital comms and ‘translates’ them to the recipient in the tone with which they were meant. I believe it would cut out all ambiguity and ill-conceived pretexts and, I think, make digital comms a far more straight forward exchange!