It’s not about technology.
It’s about business outcomes.
IT advice so you can get back to what’s important.
I help senior executives resolve business issues that are taking up too much of their time.
I enable you to get out of the constant cycle of firefighting, freeing up your time to focus on your ‘real’ job.
My work usually involves technology.
But my focus is on your business outcome.
The common problems
As a senior executive, you probably see a range of issues in your business, including:
- Basic mistakes: Some staff are making basic mistakes that are costly to identify and resolve.
- Over-reliance on specific staff: There are only a few key people in your operational areas who know how certain processes work. If they leave, you could be in trouble.
- Costly to train new staff: It is difficult to get new staff up to speed as processes are not well-defined. Some seem to work like some sort of black magic.
- Low-value tasks: Experienced staff are spending too much time on manual tasks, preventing them from focusing on higher-value activities.
- Constraints: The business is growing but certain processes are not able to scale, resulting in a near-linear growth in costs.
Finding a solution is not always easy
The solution to many of your problems may involve technology.
But you’re not sure where to turn.
Your past experiences with technology people do not inspire confidence.
- They focus on the technology, not the business outcome you need
- They can be difficult to work with. A simple question seldom results in a simple answer
- They are not always reliable. Calls are not returned; commitments are not always met
- Their estimates are pie-in-the-sky and costs usually exceed what you expected
- Their solutions introduce more complexity and ongoing cost into the business
And after all that, the original problem is not always solved to your satisfaction.
The impact on you
It is stressful to deal with the same issues over and over again.
It is frustrating when there is no clear, obvious way to permanently eliminate the issues.
You feel like you are in a constant firefight, reacting to the latest problem. You find yourself avoiding certain people so you don’t hear about the latest mess.
You are worried that one of your key staff members will leave, taking all of their operational knowledge with them.
You have very little time to focus on more profitable (and interesting) activities. Fire-fighting is taking up too much of your time.
Too many long days dealing with the same errors over and over again.
Stress. Frustration. Long days.
None of these were on your job spec.
How can I help?
Hi, I am Sam Glynn.
I focus on resolving business problems and achieving the business outcomes that you need.
I am a technology person and I can provide technology-led solutions.
But technology is seldom the only part of the story. Delivering the required business outcome usually involves input from and discussions with your staff , collaboration with your existing 3rd parties, process / procedure changes, training, etc.
I spend time with you to understand the outcome that you need. I work with you, your staff and 3rd parties to identify the most pragmatic solution to achieve this outcome. I then ensure the solution is delivered.
Technology is useful.
But it’s pointless if it does not achieve your desired business outcome.
Who do I work with?
Most of my clients have senior roles within financial services organisations.
Many work within the Irish operations of a global organisation, with a growing business team but with limited access to technical expertise.
I spend a lot of my working week with clients in Dublin city centre and the IFSC, with one or two in the North Kildare area. However, geography is seldom a major barrier these days.
What problems do I solve?
Over the years, I have helped solve many problems – System implementation, project management, vendor replacement, technical architecture design and refresh, IT security guidance and staff training, and data protection.
The problems I frequently solve are caused by an organisation’s over-reliance on use of Excel.
Don’t let the simplicity of Excel distract you from the complex solutions that can be delivered using it. Despite what many may say, Excel is widely used across all types and sizes of financial organisations for this reason.
However, Excel can contribute to various problems within an organisation. For example:
- A key process may rely on the accuracy of data produced by, and formulae / code stored in, Excel spreadsheets.
- Only one person may know how the spreadsheets work. (In some cases, that person may no longer work in the organisation.)
- Very little may in place to prevent someone inadvertently (or maliciously) changing a key formula or macro in a spreadsheet.
- There may not be a way to identify when something has gone wrong. Errors will go unnoticed until it is too late and expensive to resolve.
Despite these problems, you may find that it is difficult or costly to replace these spreadsheets:
- Excel is a very powerful and user-friendly tool. It is difficult to find the same level of flexibility and power elsewhere.
- The core systems of your organisation may be unable to do what the spreadsheets do.
- It may be difficult to get budget or resources to make the required changes to the core systems.
- The people who control the systems and resources may not to know about your problems – They’re too busy with other priorities.
My solution may include implementing controls within your spreadsheets. It may also involve replacing some of the functionality with something more appropriate. It depends on the specific risks and issues you are currently dealing with and the specific business outcome that you require.
What’s my attitude?
I know tech. I speak plain English.
I know technology but my clients engage me because I can help them solve business problems.
- I know technology: I have worked in IT for 20+ years. I have a BSc in Computer Science, MSc in Technology Management, and spent 15 years employed in various IT roles within the financial services industry. LinkedIn can tell you more.
- I know the real world: After 15 years in-house, I have worked for over 7 years as an independent IT adviser to Irish businesses, including 2 years advising businesses about the parallel universe known as GDPR and data protection. I know the real world.
- I know the regulated world: I have been through more Central Bank and external audits than I care to remember. I know the importance of demonstrating controlled processes and strict change management procedures. Developing technical solutions in a compliant way is second nature to me.
- I speak plain English: I speak about business problems and technology solutions in plain English. The techie stuff happens behind the scenes.
I focus on simple and reliable solutions.
I focus on achieving a business outcome as quickly and simply as possible.
- I dislike ‘perfect’: I prefer a good solution that gets delivered quickly. In an ideal world, ‘perfect’ is better than ‘good’. In the real world, ‘perfect’ usually requires far more time and money, and the result can be complex and inflexible.
- I dislike ‘complex’: I prefer simple solutions because complexity usually means more cost and less reliability.
- I dislike ‘shiny’: I prefer solutions that re-use the technology you already have in your business. There are switching costs and risks associated with changing or implementing new technology. If I recommend a new technology, there will be very clear business reasons. At the end of the day, you need a solution, not more technology.
“How you do anything is how you do everything”.
The big things obviously matter. But I also know the importance of the small things.
- I know what I know: I will tell you if I don’t think I can help you. It does not help either of us if I work on a problem that cannot benefit from my knowledge and experience.
- I hate optimistic estimates and missed deadlines: I am pragmatic with estimates. When I state a completion date, it will be met.
- I hate the invisible man: If you email me (or call me when I can’t answer), I will always strive to respond to you within 24 hours (but probably sooner).
- I hate the unknown: If I state a fixed price (and I usually strive to do so), that will be the price you pay. I bear the risk of getting the price wrong.
I guarantee better outcomes:
- The number and cost of mistakes will drastically fall
- Your over-reliance on specific staff will cease
- New staff will be able to get up-to-speed faster
- Experienced staff will be able to focus on higher value tasks
- You will have more time to do your ‘real’ job
- You will get ahead of your peers
No song and dance.
Just focused, pragmatic improvements to ensure you are always getting better.
Am I not for you?
I am not a good fit for every business or every business problem.
- If your primary focus is cost rather than a successful outcome: I’m not the cheapest option. (But will the cheapest option just clock up hours or actually deliver the outcome you need?)
- If your problem is not an immediate concern: A problem that is a bit of a pain but not something you are really concerned about resolving is probably a problem that is not worth solving.
- If you have already decided on the solution or technology: If you just need someone to deliver a solution you have already chosen, and you do not want to discuss whether this is actually the best solution to deliver the business outcome you need, I am probably not the right person for you.
If you think we could work together, I’d be delighted to talk by phone, over Skype or Zoom, or even to meet face-to-face.
You can contact me at (01) 554 6268. If I am unable to answer, just leave your details and I will call you back.
Alternatively, you can get in touch using the form below.
If necessary, I can send you a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in advance of our conversation so you can be certain that everything we discuss will remain confidential.