Matt became the Group Information Technology Director in 2017 after holding the post of Head of IT for the Carey Group since 2015. Matt was the first BDL Dry Lining employee to integrate into the Carey Group during the acquisition of the company in 2014, serving as BDL's IT Manager for more than 15 years from 1998. He has held numerous roles in IT and is responsible for maintaining, upgrading and supporting the IT infrastructure and systems of all Carey Group companies.
I joined the Group as part of the BDL Dry Lining acquisition. I showed up in a scenario where the business had decided IT was dead on its feet. There was already an IT consultant that was looking at that so I started with the migration of BDL into the wider Group. I was offered the opportunity to really build something from the ground up and I loved that.
The first task was just making things work. When I came here there were maybe 400 users, now we’re sitting at around 1500 users. As we were trying to bring things up to scratch we were growing like mad. Some months we were giving out 40 - 60 laptops a month, for months on end!
Now we're at the size we are it’s a constant race to keep things serviceable and working. I’ve got a great team though – couldn’t do it without them.
I would say the work around the wide area network which is what ensures our people get the same experience no matter which Careys site they’re on. It's a totally consistent user experience across two countries and it's been done in a way that’s pretty seamless. Behind that, perhaps the rollout of Office 365, moving things into the cloud - it's going to make things a lot more robust for our teams. To me it's more about a continuous process of making things fantastic as opposed to a single thing I can point at and say 'that was the best'.
The pace of change! It really is on an exponential curve. Big software or hardware updates used to be years apart, now things are rocketing forward almost every week. It makes it harder to future proof our systems and processes as we're having to try and plan where our suppliers are headed, pre-empt that and then keep up with it!
It also makes it absolutely essential to have the right people in place to keep up with things. Trying to do little tweaks across 1500 users on a monthly basis is hard, so we need people that can keep up and think on their feet!
The biggest part for me is the data. You need data to make informed decisions. It drives everything we do. Behavioural Science changed the way I think and approach my work. We’re starting to look at the whys and trying to keep blame out of the equation. It's not about saying "this is wrong", but rather "there’s a better way". Getting good facts and data are pretty key to this in that it's easy to argue with an opinion, but a lot harder to argue with the facts!
I love my job! I love what we do. We all try and help people every day and the fact that we haven’t had real boundaries dictated to us means we’re able to look for the latest and greatest. We’re driving some real open minded thinking and change in the business. Using data to make a difference, almost on a daily basis. Plenty of ‘what are we doing’ moments – it really opens our eyes and ensures that we are at the top of our game.