Philip Maguire is CEO and founder of Irish-owned Auxilion
Describe your role and what you do.
My role is to provide leadership and direction for the group. This means constantly looking to the future to make sure that we differentiate ourselves in the market. Like most CEOs, I can be dragged into day-to-day firefighting. But I need to discipline myself to keep my eye on the ball. This means making sure that we constantly evolve and change – otherwise, as we nearly found out to our cost in 2000, we are dead in the water. I travel extensively, especially in the UK where we continue to develop and grow the business.
How do you prioritise and organise your working life?
While there will always be some distractions that can drag you away, it’s absolutely essential to make regular thinking time.
In addition, I have multiple to-do lists in which I list the priorities across a range of headings, including strategy and direction: communicating this to make sure your people are with you, setting up the processes to implement it and then making sure the processes actually happen.
A key priority is to listen and talk to customers as this influences future direction and strategy.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business and how are you tackling them?
Change, especially in the IT business, is the biggest challenge. It is also the biggest challenge for our customers. So we constantly review and research how we can help them manage that change. If we can do that then we will be successful.
Keeping ahead of the pack is our objective and that involves a lot of listening to customers.
What are the key industry opportunities you’re capitalising on?
In a word, cloud. It’s the biggest disruptive technology of the last 15 years, which is why we set up Auxilion in 2012 to help companies of all sizes exploit the technology by moving them to the cloud and then providing backup no matter where in the world their people or subsidiaries are located.
We are also developing that opportunity by building new skillsets on our cloud platform. For example, earlier this year we launched a new cloud-based Project Support Service, which provides project management people, processes and technology on demand.
Cloud is also feeding heavily into our core I.T. Alliance outsourcing business. The customers of the major international outsourcers need cloud transformation support and back up and we help them provide that.
We employ more than 50 people in project management and recently announced that we want to recruit 25 more by the end of this year. That demand is partly being driven by the shift to the cloud.
What set you on the road to where you are in the technology industry?
I worked as the MD of an electronic engineering company, which was part of a PLC. The short term-ism, which is an inevitable consequence of the focus on quarterly or half-yearly figures, did not fit my ethos of building for the future.
I felt there had to be a better way. I was keen to leverage technology in a way that would make a real difference to the operation of businesses.