‘Digital transformation is not an end state that you start and stop’

17 Nov 2022

Patrick Jordan. Image: Logicalis

Patrick Jordan of Logicalis talks about the challenge of defining digital transformation, the opportunities in cloud, and the biggest business risk he has taken.

Patrick Jordan has more than 25 years’ experience in the ICT sector, having held a number of senior leadership positions across sales and operations. He is now chief revenue officer for the UK and Ireland region at Logicalis, the IT and communication services provider.

Jordan holds a degree in business and marketing from Dublin City University and a diploma in psychology from Dublin Business School.

‘While customers have been in the cloud for more than 10 years, maturity in this space is still somewhat lacking’

What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?

The key thing we see on the ground every day is defining what digital transformation means for our customers. The challenge here lies in the fact that it means something different to each one.

We then have to define where customers are on their journey and determine how we measure the success of this journey. After all, digital transformation is not an end state that you start and stop – it’s continuous and you have to constantly track its efficacy. This challenge is also magnified by the speed at which our industry changes and moves, the ever-evolving macroeconomic climate, and the current skills shortage in our sector.

To address these issues, we focus on what we can do to help our customers. That involves delivering projects and implementing technologies which allow organisations to realise their digital objectives, transform their operations and free up their internal resources to work on the wider business. We also stay with clients on their journey through our managed services offering.

What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on?

First off, managing the opportunity of cloud is a major focus. While it’s not a new trend and customers have been in the cloud for more than 10 years, maturity in this space is still somewhat lacking and businesses need help with things like cost optimisation and efficiency through the cloud. Of course, managing hybrid infrastructure is a major pillar, as is multi-cloud. But it’s one thing to have these in place, it’s another thing unlocking their potential.

Data is another critical area. While every business is generating data, they are struggling to break it down, understand it and use it to drive better decisions. Intertwined with this is the universal challenge of security, which becomes more of an issue every day and across all parts of an organisation.

At Logicalis, we’re working with our key technology partners and helping clients develop a zero-trust approach. Alongside this, our managed services offering is really the future when it comes to helping clients secure their company information and systems.

In terms of market penetration and opportunities, we are focused on specific verticals across the markets in which we operate. The verticals we are targeting vary depending on location. For example, we are focused on retail and healthcare in Ireland, while it’s public sector and higher education in the UK.

What set you on the road to where you are now?

I started out my career in the middle of a recession and ended up doing a marketing and business development role for a couple years. Through this, I discovered I was strong at solving problems for clients.

For me, it always has been and will always be about the customer – building those relationships and understanding their challenges. I’m a problem solver at heart so finding the right solutions for specific problems is something I enjoy.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

During Covid-19, I was in a global role (group VP) within Logicalis and we decided to expand the business. At the time, I remember friends and colleagues saying it was a bit risky given the pandemic. However, I saw it as an opportunity to create something across the 27 countries where Logicalis operates.

We saw the clear opportunity to help clients solve their challenges on a global scale which, in turn, unlocked the value we deliver as an organisation. It was an amazing experience to build the team, the infrastructure and the business. As it turns out, the risk became a reward because we tapped into the global opportunity that Covid-19 presented and it allowed us to go further for clients all over the world.

What one work skill do you wish you had?

Better delegation!

All joking aside, a previous mentor once stressed the importance of taking time out to reflect and I try and make time to do this. It’s just 10 or 20 minutes to stop and think about what’s happened, what you’re doing and where you’re going.

It’s easy to get caught up in the working month and quarterly cycles, but taking time to review and reflect is incredibly important as a leader. Sometimes we take wrong avenues or go in wrong directions and that’s okay, but it’s crucial to correct the course and continue to build.

How do you get the best out of your team?

For me, it’s about open communication and being honest. That’s how I’ve built and worked with teams throughout my career. I think it helps to be completely transparent about what the challenges are, where the business is going and how to solve problems together. It builds trust and no team operates without trust.

The other thing is accountability – not just holding others responsible but being accountable as part of a team.

Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector?

I think it’s improved massively over the last five years, but we still have a long way to go. At Logicalis, from the global CEO down, diversity and inclusion are major focus areas within our business.

Currently, we have active investments in a number of areas to support environmental, social and governance, diversity and inclusion, and talent development initiatives. That includes training for existing management teams and finding the right candidates to join the company.

Personally, it’s something I’ve focused on over the last decade. In fact, I currently have a 50/50 split in my team between male and female team members. As there is still a larger percentage of men to women in certain roles across our sector, it requires a conscious and concerted effort.

It’s also something that needs to be addressed during early career development. In fact, we’re involved in speaking to students in schools and universities across Ireland and the UK about embarking on careers in STEM. 

What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

I’m not sure if someone taught me this or I learned it the hard way, but the mantra I live by is ‘praise in public, correct in private’.

As well as encouraging people, addressing issues as they come up is crucial to building teams, strengthening relationships and driving success. However, it must be done in the right way and setting.

What books have you read that you would recommend?

One that sticks in my mind is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He’s a leading psychologist and his work is all about how we process information, make judgements and take actions.

It resonates with me because of the sheer amount of information that everyone has to deal with today and how we deal with people. It requires focus and prioritisation, and a successful sales team is one that focuses time and energy on the activities they do well, and which will achieve goals.

What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week?

It probably gets said all the time, but it would have to be collaboration tools. My role spans Ireland and the UK, so while I do travel a lot, I rely on these tools to connect with people daily.

Without it, collaborating would be much more problematic and much less effective – although I still have a massive preference for face-to-face meetings.

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