I’ve worked in the software industry for 35+ years. I started as a software developer and progressed through the ranks to become a director and Head of Software Development at a software consultancy.
Over the years I’ve worked with various programming languages, databases and technology platforms including web and mobile. I’ve also managed agile development projects and teams.
I’ve run two software companies providing IT services to large enterprises and I’ve been a CEO and/or board director for over 25 years. I’ve been involved in presentations and contract negotiations with many senior executives at FTSE 250 organisations.
I also spent 8 years as a member of Vistage International, the global peer-group of Chief Executives. During my time there, I gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges other CEOs face on a daily basis.
As a Vistage member I got to contribute to many debates and to offer my advice to CEOs across a broad range of industry sectors.
WHAT DRIVES ME
My passion lies in helping companies use technology to win more business, launch new products or services and/or to operate more effectively. I bring strategic vision and commercial acumen to shape, direct and optimise how technology can help companies grow their businesses.
I enjoy working with C-level executives and business owners who want to exploit technology to build stronger companies. My goal is to make a substantial long-term contribution to the management of companies that want to grow their businesses.
I have a strong focus on best practice in the software development arena. I advise companies on how to achieve significant improvements in their productivity and quality by employing best practices.
I’ve personally seen how a series of marginal gains can have a big impact on productivity. An important by-product of these gains is that it leads to an increase in morale all round.
The developers produce better code with less issues resulting in happier users and a positive feedback loop that everybody benefits from.
The impact on the bottom line is also significant as it takes less time to get good software delivered.
I advise small and mid-tier companies on both their IT strategy and their Digital Marketing strategy. Most smaller companies are so busy running their day-to-day operations that they struggle to stay up-to-date with latest technology trends.
In particular, many SMEs don’t have a digital marketing strategy and continue to rely solely on traditional marketing to win business. They may have Twitter and Facebook accounts but these are often after-thoughts and are rarely properly exploited.
In this regard they are missing out on reaching a much wider audience of prospects. I think that many of these companies could grow their customer base significantly if they adopted a content-focused approach to marketing.
I have a keen interest in blockchain technology. I’ve written articles about it and I’m a big believer that it will become mainstream in the coming years. I believe that many inefficient and costly business processes could be improved using blockchain platforms and distributed ledgers.
Blockchain is not going to change the world overnight but, like the internet and mobile technology, it will gradually come to play a huge part in our lives.
I’m a big gadget fan and my house uses much of the latest home automation technology. My wife thinks my phone and tablet are surgically attached to me as I’m never without at least one of them on my person.
I’m a keen golfer and have built many business relationships on the golf course. Many of those relationships have turned into friendships also and I’ve subsequently traveled around the world with these friends to play golf. One highlight was a trip to The Masters in Augusta.
I’m also a big foodie and a keen cook and I think nothing of traveling long distances to eat at a top restaurant. I rarely travel anywhere without having at least one Michelin-starred restaurant booked in advance.
FIVE FUN FACTS
- I speak (rusty) Dutch. I spent 4 years living in Holland in the 80s and I learned conversational Dutch. It’s 30 years since I last used it in anger but I can still understand quite a bit.
- When I was younger (up to about age 8) I had five grandmothers alive at the same time. One great-great-grandmother, two great-grandmothers and two grandmothers. I remember them all quite clearly. I’m hoping that the longevity gene has been passed down to me!
- In 1994 I became the world’s first certified DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) consultant. DSDM was the first attempt at formalising an approach to rapid application development. It was the pre-cursor to the Agile movement which is now popular around the world.
- I’ve had one hole-in-one in my life. It was in France at Montmorency Golf Club near Paris. It was on the 145 yard Par 3 14th hole.
- I’m a huge music fan and I have about 15,000 tracks on my iPod. I still marvel at how you can carry your whole music collection in your pocket. That amount of albums would have taken up my whole bedroom when I was younger. And if anybody wants to invite me to a Van Morrison or Bruce Springsteen concert then count me in.