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Ringside: Insider Interview with Mike Swain

Welcome again to Ringside. That is the place we discuss management, know-how and communication with the people who find themselves shaping the way forward for work. In the present day, we caught up with Mike Swain, UK CEO at SCC.

Are you able to describe SCC and your position throughout the enterprise?

We’re Europe’s largest privately-owned IT options enterprise and the know-how division of Rigby Group plc. I’ve been part of SCC for greater than 34 years, main its companies division to constant year-on-year double-digit progress and driving SCC’s transformation from an IT reseller to one in all Europe’s principal know-how options companies.

In July 1987 I joined SCC as a software program help govt and inside ten years grew to become one in all its youngest administrators, heading up the skilled companies enterprise. I used to be appointed to SCC’s govt board in 2002 and led the expansion of our UK Providers enterprise, alongside deploying international help centres throughout Romania and Vietnam.

Throughout my position as managing director of companies, I oversaw continuous progress and successive document monetary outcomes. I grew to become UK CEO in 2020.

How is know-how driving COVID-19 restoration within the UK?

When the pandemic took maintain final March, companies had been compelled to allow instant and widespread homeworking. On the face of it, this meant a requirement for extra laptops and cellular gadgets, peripherals and different {hardware}. It additionally meant extra collaboration options for video conferencing and safe distant entry. Nevertheless, individuals didn’t see right away the extra bandwidth and internet hosting necessities, safety implications, company IT insurance policies, the shift in IT price range, and prioritisation. All of this stuff grew to become a serious problem for each IT chief nearly in a single day.

Expertise made all this potential. However, because the pandemic went on, organisations modified from reactive to proactive. They had been nearly working backwards to create new digital methods primarily based on the brand new regular that lockdowns and residential working had referred to as for.

One of many positives we will take from the pandemic is the worldwide acceleration of digital transformation. Expertise is important to this. It’s going to assist ship an financial bounce again and guarantee companies are extra resilient to comparable challenges sooner or later.

As necessary as know-how is, individuals’s motivation to come back collectively at a time of disaster is astonishing. Click on To Tweet

What have you ever discovered most difficult and what classes have you ever realized supporting a distant workforce?

All of us shifted to distant working to guard the well being and well-being of our individuals, companions and prospects. At SCC, we made this transfer a number of weeks forward of the primary nationwide lockdown. As a supplier of important IT companies, SCC performs a key position in supporting a number of the UK’s most necessary organisations – notably our prospects proper throughout the NHS and blue mild companies. The largest problem we confronted was preserving our individuals secure while preserving our prospects totally operational. I’m happy to say our crew reacted with huge enthusiasm to all that was thrust upon them. Everybody delivered an outstanding degree of constant, high-quality service to our prospects all through.

We realized that, as necessary as know-how is, individuals’s motivation to come back collectively and go the additional mile at a time of disaster is astonishing. I’m so proud to guide this enterprise with all it has achieved over the previous 16 months. From establishing a web site offering steering to the NHS on PPE inside 48 hours to supporting the supply of Nightingale Hospitals, and innovating with the primary set up of thermal imaging know-how.

The problem will likely be serving to organisations navigate the brand new regular. One other will likely be benefiting from digital transformation and hybrid working.

May you inform us in regards to the causes SCC helps to assist these affected most by the pandemic?

Within the IT sector, now we have been in a extra lucky place.  However sadly, the identical can’t be mentioned for everybody. The youth demographic has been severely hit, and people already deprived now face even larger obstacles.

We just lately renewed our partnership as a Patron of The Prince’s Belief for the subsequent three years. As a patron for the previous seven years, SCC has supported a number of of the Belief’s regional and nationwide schemes and campaigns, most notably a major funding in 2018 to assist create a brand-new hub in Birmingham Metropolis Centre that may assist 1000’s of younger individuals.

The work that The Prince’s Belief does with younger individuals is excellent, they usually’re making an actual distinction in lots of lives. We stay up for seeing how we will proceed to help them.

Earlier within the pandemic, we additionally supported 250 younger individuals by donating laptops and knowledge to help their studying at residence by an initiative with the Royal Shakespeare Firm (RSC). The younger individuals from 12 RSC Affiliate Faculties in Birmingham and Warwickshire obtained particular person laptops and 12 months of free knowledge per person to help their resilience by the challenges of the present tutorial 12 months. The tools will be sure that college students can entry high-quality studying and humanities alternatives at residence and college. We’ve additionally partnered with a number of SCC prospects who’ve donated surplus laptop computer tools, which SCC refurbishes and securely reimages, earlier than contributing to native faculties to assist kids who’ve been impacted by the lack of face-to-face schooling over the past 12 months.

Every atmosphere has its challenges to staying productive, so tailor-made options are key to enterprise continuity within the hybrid working period. Click on To Tweet

As social restrictions ease, companies are specializing in methods to safely return to the workplace in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later. The method most corporations appear to be adopting (or at the very least speaking about) is hybrid working.

With this in thoughts, what do you assume the way forward for work will seem like, and the way can IT leaders put together for it?

Distant working is creating total new organisational buildings and reshaping enterprise fashions. Consequently, leaders are rethinking methods to generate gross sales and ship companies utilizing distant working practices and seeking to the long-term when welcoming staff again to a brand new, hybrid office. However hybrid workplaces result in each challenges and alternatives.

Every employee and workspace are completely different. Some want to work from home, others on the go and a few at their desk within the workplace. Every atmosphere has its challenges to staying productive, so tailor-made options are key to enterprise continuity within the hybrid working period.

As a place to begin, companies want to know their customers and necessities. However there may be an urgency that didn’t exist earlier than. So whereas leaders can speed up plans, it’s necessary to not waste the chance offered by not rigorously contemplating numerous working types and the fitting resolution for your small business – which could be vastly completely different from one other, even in the identical business.

I might advocate partaking with IT companions to assist assess the present state and future goals and design a roadmap that provides resilience, safety and scalability to satisfy the calls for of hybrid working now and sooner or later.

Discover out extra about Mike and SCC on LinkedIn.

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Samantha is RingCentral’s Content material Specialist for EMEA Advertising. Earlier than becoming a member of the enterprise, she held numerous roles in content material, public relations and communications. She has labored with corporations throughout industries together with schooling know-how, advertising and promoting, related residence, telecoms and publishing.

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