Technology Reseller v48

01732 759725 32 VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL With Adrian Overall, CEO of CloudStratex Technology Reseller (TR): How’s business? Better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future? Adrian Overall (AO): It is fair to say that business is good for us right now, but that doesn’t mask the fact that every day in an environment like ours is a challenge. We are humbled by the fact that our clients see our value and reward us with greater opportunities to work with them, while maintaining a healthy paranoia about ever losing sight of our core values and behaviours. Our future will be dictated by the continued pursuit of excellence in the work that we do and by striving to do the right thing for our clients on a daily basis. There are many reasons to be optimistic about our market and the fact that technology adoption is core to the future health of many of our clients. We can only influence the things we have direct control over and continue to pursue the type of business that differentiates us and challenges us in equal measure. TR: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand? AO: Many of our clients are wrestling with cloud adoption and operationally integrating next gen technology. Much of the challenge centres around value realisation and the benefits that these technologies should be bringing to their organisations. In many instances we see clients struggle to maximise the value of their investments, before seeking to address the value delta by working with us to determine what ‘good’ looks like for them. Many are seeking operational efficiencies whilst also looking to drive far stronger operational resilience in their environments. Heightened risks and recent high profile examples – too many to mention – have woken everyone up to the fact that they have to invest and protect their digital assets. It is no surprise that the topic of workforce productivity has taken centre stage after the last couple of years when we, as an industry, have supported the rapid adoption of remote working and all that that entails. Much of our focus has been on the changes required to working practices, service delivery and enablement. We have seen an acceleration in the need to provide common toolsets and secure environments that look and feel the same no matter where you are in the world because it is clear that productivity comes from consistency of experience. TR: What recent wins are you most proud of? AO: I think it is important to put into perspective how hard it is for smaller businesses to be considered by large enterprise-class organisations as the answer to the challenges they face. Many of these corporations have Preferred Supplier Lists that are tightly controlled and typically contain the who’s who of large global SIs and vendors. However, we know that many of these large organisations sometimes find it hard to secure specific, niche skills that are genuinely differentiated in the market, and it is in this arena that we play our best hand. We can’t talk specifics, but we are particularly proud of recent wins in the Finance and Insurance sector, where we competed and won against organisations that dwarf us in scale and which you think would eat us for breakfast. Winning these clients is why we do it. TR: Where is business proving most difficult? AO: We all know that there is a war for talent out there and it is throttling our growth. We are doing our best to compete in a talent pool that seems to be shrinking as we struggle to create the type of industry that is attractive to next generation leaders and provides the sorts of career that people aspire to. We have built our Talent Academy for exactly this reason, and we think our approach of giving people accountability and responsibility early on creates the right dynamics for them to learn and grow compared to traditional grad models. We are privileged to be able to do this and I love it that we can set people on their own paths to success and learning. TR: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities? AO: We always seek to explore new opportunities but are acutely aware that CloudStratex (CSX) is a fast growing,disruptive IT consultancy that helps enterprises leverage next generation services and the cloud to achieve operational efficiency, integration and resilience. Founded in the summer of 2019, the self-funded company has grown rapidly over the last three years, reaching a turnover of £6 million in its first year, £13 million in its second year and a projected > £18 million by the close of its third year. Unlike conventional IT consultancies, CSX doesn’t focus on selling IT support contracts, but instead teaches businesses ‘to fish’ so that they can accelerate towards self-sufficiency and free themselves from excessive consultancy or total dependency on third parties. It achieves this through a fivestage incubation and knowledge transfer model that leverages best practice, IP, processes and accelerators to help clients achieve their desired business outcomes and self-sufficiency, after which CSX steps back and gives control to the client. Here, CSX CEO Adrian Overall gives his view from the channel. View from the Channel