bdaily goes behind the scenes with John Richardson, Commercial Director of Atlas Infrastructure Management
John has worked in IT since 1973 and has held key roles in multi-national corporates including Shell Oil, Jaguar Cars and Asda Stores. He was also European IT Director with Acxiom.
What have been the key challenges for you over the past 12 months?
Getting established is one of the biggest challenges for any business, but for us, one of the main challenges was building the desktop cloud infrastructure. That is the central part of our business and what makes us unique and ideally positioned to grow, so we had to make sure that was in place before we could go any further.
What has been your biggest achievement in the past 12 months?
Not only establishing the business, but also the successful build of the cloud so that it is ready for client use. The Atlas vision is that we can take ‘a PC off every desk’ (in contrast to Bill Gates’ vision for the Windows revolution, which resulted in ’a PC on every desk) to allow for a more cost effective, robust and mobile IT solution. The business is now in a position where we can put clients on to the cloud very quickly, which is a big advantage for both us and them.
What will be your biggest focus for the coming year?
We want to support more new clients onto the cloud, and encourage more businesses and people to take advantage of what we have created. By reducing cost and increasing efficiency, we believe our vision of cloud computing and redefinition of what IT means (to SMEs in particular) will be shared by many. In doing that, and by securing new clients, we will hopefully be able to grow the business, while enabling our customers to grow theirs.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting a business in the IT sector, what would it be?
It is massively important to have a very detailed initial plan in place when you are starting the business, and one that allows some contingency in case of any slippage. You need some room for manoeuvre if things don’t go according to plan, which can easily happen, especially at first. Remember that things don’t happen overnight, even in a sector like IT, where people sometimes think that because of the use of high technology, they do. For example, our initial IT equipment delivery was delayed by three weeks due to the extreme winter weather last year. Situations such as that really affect your schedule and are beyond your control.
What is your view on the outlook for business, both in the North East and generally?
Far from it being a bad time because of the economic turbulence, if you’re in the right market place, it could be a great time to start a business. If you can offer a service which reduces cost while benefitting efficiency, it is a very good time. At Atlas, we offer solutions to businesses in how to reduce costs and create a simpler, more convenient and more reliable IT infrastructure. Being able to offer a value-for-money service in this climate is a real selling point.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Phil Richardson.