A few years into your IT career, what does it look like? We talked to Shaun Lane, who is a Business Solutions Architect working in the Digital Transformation team here at Resolution IT.
‘I never did IT at school – I suppose I thought it sounded boring. I was interested in the practical, hands-on side and at school it seemed IT was all about opening text books and answering questions about Excel. We live in such a technology enabled world now, I think IT shouldn’t be taught as an isolated lesson. Instead, I think every subject should embrace IT because computers and their various capabilities are increasingly being used in schools, even as far down as at Primary level.
I eventually went on to university to study Computer Science with Digital Media, gaining work experience at Resolution IT in my holidays. I realised I didn’t want to just sit in a room and be a developer, I wanted to build relationships with people across a wide range of sectors and help them with their particular IT needs.
I started at Resolution IT as a Trainee Systems Engineer when there was just half a dozen of us. It didn’t take me long to realise that working for a managed service provider gave me the opportunity to build those relationships and expose me to all manner of problems, each one requiring a different solution.
Moving into digital transformation from the engineering team was a rewarding challenge. You're responsible for discovering client's processes and issues and proposing solutions to individually meet their needs. Having the skills to build the solutions and hand them over to the client is essential. And working in digital transformation means you have to keep fully up-to-date with all new technology as you never know what may help a client's needs. From the starting conversation for a project right through to completion, you're involved with ensuring the client is happy and content and their business objectives have been met.
Along the way, I’ve taken a variety of exams – I’m a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) in Productivity, with particular expertise in Office 365 and SharePoint and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in Office 365– two really terrific cloud-based office solutions. Gaining these qualifications lets clients know my proven expertise in productivity and business solutions.
As my career has progressed, so has the change in technology, making it a very exciting industry to be in. When I first joined Resolution IT, I think the view of clients was that they called us if something wasn’t working and we came and fixed it. That’s changed so much in the last few years, to companies looking at IT in a whole different light – they realise it is an enabler, helping them achieve increased productivity, reduce costs, allow them to work wherever and whenever they like and yet work more collaboratively.
Cloud based technology has allowed all this to happen and it’s an area I’m really interested in. Businesses are also seeing the massive benefits it brings. I find it really satisfying providing bespoke solutions for clients. Creating new solutions for businesses, specific to their own needs, which no one else has. We’re using technology out of the box, so it remains cost effective, yet moulding it for the specific niche needs of each individual client.
Digital transformation, as it is known, has really taken off in the last couple of years and we’ve been privileged to have become trusted advisers of many businesses here in Guernsey. And IT in general has changed so much in the six years I have been working here. We're seeing more and more businesses realise it’s often a better option to outsource their IT to a managed services provider like ourselves. You’re getting the highest level of expertise, access to the most current technology and regulations and with a set monthly fee, budgetary peace of mind. And businesses with existing in-house IT departments turn to us when they need help with specific projects where their expertise may not sit.
Being passionate about digital transformation has really allowed me to push my clients forward into becoming more streamlined businesses. Being able to sit with clients and review their stresses and let downs with technology allows me to come up with digital solutions to propel them to a much more productive level.
If I had to sum up my top three of what I enjoy most about IT, it would be:
Clients – the opportunity to build trusting relationships with such a complete cross-section of businesses is incredibly interesting but humbling. They are relying on you to come up with the right technological solution for them
Fast-paced nature of technology – it’s exciting working in an industry where new products and technologies are emerging all the time
Creativity – you have to have an element of creativity in you to work out how you are going to apply come up with solutions and assist clients with transforming their businesses digitally
When I joined, IT was used to change hardware, now it’s about changing processes and the way we work. Who doesn’t find that infinitely more exciting?
And that handful of colleagues I joined six years ago? We’re now a team of 25, with offices in Dubai and continuing to expand – almost as quickly as technology itself!