Category Archives: IT Consulting
Ever since I started working I have always heard the concept of ‘work life balance’ being bandied around. I never really paid much attention to the notion as I beavered away at my 12 hour working days, as was common place in my job as a graduate IT consultant. The thing is, I never minded or mind putting in this time and staying late when work needs to be done. I really enjoy my work and I get great satisfaction out of being part of a team that is working towards a common goal, often in highly pressurised situations. During my time working in a large IT consultancy company, I don’t ever remember anyone explicitly asking me to stay late, but there definitely was a culture that accepted it as the norm and a perception that it was something that needed to be done to get you to the next level, or at a minimum to keep you in the running for the next level.
We can hardly believe it… 1 year ago today we made our dream a reality and became a limited company going by the name of Elm Solutions. Why in seconds though? Well, anyone who’s involved in a start-up knows that it is not, in any shape or form, a 9 – 5 job. Every waking (and a lot of weird unwaking seconds) are spent worrying, thinking, planning, innovating and dreaming about the future. I remember glimpsing the saying “Entrepreneurs spend 80 hours a week to avoid working 40” on the day we set up and you could not speak a truer word. Although it’s not just the entrepreneurs but everyone who works for and with Elm.
It has been 1 year since we became a fully fledged IT start-up and no matter how experienced you may think you are, there is so much to learn in such a short space of time. One of our core principles at Elm Solutions is that failure is necessary when moving at a fast pace. It means you are pushing the boundaries while learning the route to success. But the importance cannot be overstated enough in failing fast while maintaining the highest levels of delivery for your clients. All that being said, accepting failure as a necessity of producing the best quality is fine, but making the same mistake more than once is unforgivable. If I could impart 13 lessons to anyone about to embark on the IT start-up journey it would be the following;
I find it hard to believe that Elm Solutions, the IT Company I co-founded with two friends in June 2014, is One today! Like any first time parents, we are very proud of our baby and it’s achievements in its infancy. We have faced all the normal challenges of having a new born; the long hours, the acute sleep deprivation, the teething problems, the self-doubting and, above all, the daily rate in which you face new experiences and challenges. But, like most first time parents, we are successfully meandering through and we look at what we have created to date with a sense of pride and accomplishment. This first year has been all about learning and teaching in equal measures and it has been a most enjoyable journey. We are putting a strong emphasis on ensuring that we are instilling our core values in our off-spring from the onset and we are seeing the company culture and values come to fruition in the five staff that we have hired throughout the year; our baby is growing so fast!
The effects of climate change are now upon us and will continue to affect us and future generations in major, unpredictable ways. There is a developing consensus in all walks of life that the need for cleaner, greener ways of operating are becoming increasingly urgent. Technology – in all its shapes and colours, is the key enabler for this. Like all tools however, its efficacy depends on the stroke of the user.
In this short article I wish to outline at a high level some of the positive differences that technology can make to large scale projects, their implementation, and the bottom line of business, noting that decisions relating to these matters increasingly involve environmental concerns.