In my personal practice 'Dr Richard Sykes' I work as a board-level strategic analyst, assurer & and advisor in the management, exploitation &sourcing of information & communications technology (ICT). My particular focus is the transformation of business models and enterprise, public sector and vendor operations through the agency of 'the Cloud'.
The increasing globalisation of offshoring continues to mature IT, Business Process (including Call Centre) and Knowledge Process outsourcing options. At the same time, new business models based on the automation of the production of on-line, internet-delivered and web-based consumer services & e-commerce (think Google, eBay, Amazon) is starting to transform classic outsourcing business models by introducing the direct sourcing of technology services suitable for Enterprise (think salesforce.com) and Government use - the phenomenon of the Cloud.
I work with both suppliers and customers to scope the strategic impact of these developments on their businesses. With customers the agenda is:
- the transformation of their outsourcing & sourcing strategies that allow an increased focus of in-house resource on the delivery of the competitive 'edge' of their businesses;
- the scoping of the new business operational models enabled by the Cloud, and the design of the transformational journeys that will deliver these new ways of working.
With suppliers the agenda is how to transform & reposition their business strategies so that they can master the new competitive landscapes reshaping around them.
My role is as advisor rather than consultant. My clients value the critical insights and fresh strategic thinking I bring to their internal debates, and to their business & contractual dialogues as customers & suppliers.
A specific recent example of my work - between Ferbruary 2013 and October 2014 I acted as the Independent Assurer to the Board of UCAS [the UK Universities application shared services venture] as it successfully managed its transformational journey 'into the Cloud'.
In delivering these services, particularly in the contaxt of the Cloud, I can draw on my role as an associate of the Executive Advisory Programme of the independent research house Bloor, with its experienced team of leading expert industry technical and business analysts: and also my work as Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum and a Vice-Chair of the EuroCloud Europe. In the context of outsourcing I can work with two more specialist collaborators: in the strategic detailing of outsourcing arrangements I work with Gavin Bowden-Hall, the Director and Managing Consultant of Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Services Ltd,: in delivering strategic change management and the development of effective sourcing partnerships, with Sue Tompkins and Jessica Long, joint Directors of EQ Partnering.
In keeping my IP both relevant and current, I alsodraw on my involvement with the Leading Edge Forum (a research-based CIO membership group), my membership of TechUK and its many specialist working groups, and my work with the TMMi Foundation.
My work as a judge for the UK Cloud Awards, the pan-European EuroCloud Awards, and the Nimbus Ninety IGNITE Awards also serves to keep me alert and well briefed on the rapid business innovation being enabled by the Cloud.
I also work as an experienced NED (Non-Executive Director/Chairman) of small to medium sized ventures in the technology & arts space, including start -ups.
I draw on my experience as a businessman in a variety of roles & responsibilities held in my ICI years, and my experience gained delivering on a number of NED appointments over the last fifteen years since leaving ICI. Two specific examples: six years between 2002 & 2008 as Chair of the Trustees of the De La Warr Pavillion rescuing a failing local government run arts institution and re-launching it as a now successful not-for-profit social enterprise: five years between 1999 and 2004 as Chairman of Morgan Chambers plc, a leading European outsourcing consultancy, through a period of major growth and development. [Morgan Chambers has since been acquired by Equaterra Inc, which in turn has been acquired by KPMG.]