Scott Findlater - CIO - Anord Mardix

ALEX CLIXBY

CIO, CTO, Director
One IT Consulting Limited

ALEX CLIXBY – CIO Interview Series

I like to read up on the latest technologies and meet up with fellow tech leaders to discuss challenges and how to solve them, as well as chatting about tech.
Can you please provide a little introduction about yourself

I own an IT consultancy company, which I largely run remotely out of York in the UK. I currently work as a fractional board advisor/CIO/CTO for a couple of businesses, and the rest of my work time is spent providing IT consultancy for small to medium businesses, with engagements ranging from IT Reviews to full transformation programmed.

What has your journey to your position been like? What path have you taken?

I started my working life as an officer in the British Army. This amazing journey gave me some excellent skills and experiences, including leadership, resilience, coping under pressure and dealing with adversity. After 16 years in the army, I left the service, and for over 9 years I’ve worked in a variety of senior IT leadership roles, across a number of sectors.

In early 2020, I decided to follow a dream that I’d had for a number of years and I set up my own business, One IT Consulting. It was initially a challenging few months, owing to the impacts of the Covid pandemic. Despite this disruption and some time out of work, I started to pick up work.

All is great now and my business is moving in the right direction, with some good growth and opportunities throughout 2021

Has it always been your vision to reach the position you’re at? Was your current role part of your vision to become a tech leader?

Not initially. I always wanted to be a leader in the armed forces and when I joined the Army, I decided to specialize in technology. I soon found my place as a technology leader both in the UK and in operational zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. My current position, working as a tech leader for numerous companies, only really became an aspiration 5 or 6 years ago, and now I’m doing this, I really feel I’ve reached where I want to be. The variety is excellent and I love regularly working with different clients with varied challenges.

Have you had a role model or mentor that has helped you on your journey?

There were a number of senior officers in the army who inspired me. They led by example, setting a very high standard in all that they did; in leadership, innovation, strategy, and technology; some excelled in most things really!

How do you see the role of the technology leader evolving over the next 5 years?

I see the role of the technology leader becoming more critical to most organizations, and I see key roles – such as CIO – becoming even more pivotal in many businesses.

Technology and information security cannot be ignored, and technology leaders need to have a place on leadership teams and Executive Boards. It’s a brave CEO that doesn’t want a CIO sat beside them, to help make informed decisions in this modern, high tech era.

What skills do you think leaders of the future will need in order to thrive?

Leadership and people skills are critical; knowing how to manage people and build high performing teams is essential to the modern leader. Having a good understanding of technology is obvious, but the modern tech leader also needs to understand business, it’s requirements, and how technology can help their business thrive.

I am not sure if these qualify as skills, but drive, motivation and commitment are all vital for any tech leader.

How do you keep current with new skills, technologies and personal development?

I like to read up on the latest technologies and meet up with fellow tech leaders to discuss challenges and how to solve them, as well as chatting about tech.

What do you see as the next leap in technology that will impact your business or industry in particular?

I work for a number of different clients over multiple industries. Each have slightly different needs, but they all have requirements in common for making better use of their data, keeping their workforce mobile, and providing excellent Information and Cyber Security.

If you were mentoring a leader of the future, what advice or guidance would you give to help them on their way?

I would advise them to look after their people.

It’s important that leaders get the very best out of their people, both collectively in teams and as individuals. If we mentor and nurture our staff, treat them fairly and with respect, lead them well, and build great teams, we should get the most out of them; this will in turn pay huge dividends to the business in terms of performance. We should always lead from the front and lead by example, and we should do all possible to inspire and motivate our staff.

Is there anything in particular that you would still like to achieve in your career or what is the next step on your journey?

My business is still young, with less than 2 years of trading. I have great aspirations for it: to continue to grow the business, build the team, and increase my client base. This is the next step on my journey.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

To end poverty and war!

A big thank you to Alex Clixby from One IT Consulting Limited for sharing his journey to date.

https://oneitconsulting.co.uk/

If you would like to gain more perspective from Tech Leaders and CIOs you can read some of our other interviews here.

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