Dr Richard Sykes is a businessman with a breadth of involvement & experience that spans the chemical industry, the IT industry - and the world of the visual & performing arts. He has held senior executive roles in a major global multinational and non-executive chairmanships in a number of smaller ventures - and not- for- profits - and has lived and operated internationally.
Today Richard has a personal practice ('Dr Richard Sykes') as a board-level trusted advisor, assurer, strategic coach & facilitator. He works with senior management in the practical shaping of effective business information & communications technology (ICT) strategies & their implementation, sourcing & governance. He has a particular expertise in the workings of the ICT Services and Business Process, sourcing & outsourcing market place - especially through the agency of 'the Cloud'.
His focus is in coaching the development and practical implementation of business strategies that will deliver quality, sustainable stakeholder returns in these very competitive markets. He works with both the Vendor and the Enteprise/Public Sector User aspects of the market place - and is developing a particular expertise in critically guiding the enterprise's transformational journey 'into the Cloud'.
As 'Dr Richard Sykes' he is also an Advisor at Bloor's Executive Advisory Programme. Bloor Research is a grouping of expert industry business and technical analysts which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2014. Bloor.
He acts as an experienced non-executive chairman of the boards of young ventures in both the IT industries and the visual arts world.
Richard's educational background and initial career development
Richard holds an MA (Natural Sciences Tripos, Cambridge, UK 1967) and a PhD in the field of biosynthetic chemistry (Yale, USA 1972). After two years working with the American consumer advocate Ralph Nader he joined the former international chemical major ICI plc in 1973.
Richard's background and experience in the Business World
During the 1990's Richard was Group Vice President IT at ICI, where he lead a major restructuring of ICI's corporate ICT based on an extensive programme of outsourcing and delegation back into the businesses of ICI. In earlier years he held senior commercial and business leadership roles in ICI's chemicals & plastics businesses, including in Asia, where he lived and worked in Japan as Regional General Manager of ICI's speciality plastic film business 'Melinex' and a board director of ICI Japan, implementing a £55m investment in ICI's first 100% owned manufacturing facility in Japan.
More recently Richard served a three year term (2008-2011) as an elected member of the Main Board of Intellect, the UK trade association for the IT, Telecoms and Electronic industries, more recently relaunched as TechUK. He chaired their Outsourcing & Offshore Group 2005-2009, and their initiative in Outcome Based Agreements 2008-2009. He also played an active role in the joint Intellect/Cabinet Office initiative 2010/2011 that developed the G-Cloud. TechUK
Today Richard is Chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum. The Forum was established in 2009 to provide transparency through certification to a Code of Practice for credible online Cloud service providers, and to assist end users in determining that core information necessary to enable them to adopt Cloud services with confidence. www.cloudindustryforum.org
He is also the UK Vice-Chairman of EuroCloud Europe, an independent non-profit organisation that is the focus of 21 national EuroCloud chapters that work to speed the uptake of the Cloud in their national markets. EuroCloud Europe works closely on the implementation of the EU's Cloud Strategy, designed to reduce barriers to the wider exploitation of the Cloud to business benefit across Europe. EuroCloud Europe
Richard is Chairman of the TMMi Foundation, dedicated to improving test processes and practice. It is a non-profit making organization and the focus of the Foundation's activities is the development of a common, robust model of test process assessment and improvement in IT organisations. www.TMMiFoundation.org
He serves on the board of FAST (Federation Against Software Theft), a UK industry body that works to promote the legal use of software. FAST
Between 1999 & 2014 Richard was non-executive Chairman of Solcom Ltd, the software engineering, consultancy and project implementation business specialised in control systems & the Oil, Gas, Pharmaceutical and Nuclear sectors since 1999. www.solcom.com Solcom is the home of the start-up Whzan that offers flexible, open, internet cloud based services for the connection and monitoring of remote and dynamic devices - most particularly in telehealth. www.whzan.com
Between 1999 and 2004 Richard was chairman of Morgan Chambers plc, Europe's then leading independent strategic consultancy in ICT service and business process (BPO) sourcing & outsourcing, since acquired by Equaterra Inc, and subsequently by KPMG. www.morganchambers.com.
Between 2000 and 2004 he was also non-executive chairman of SiteConfidence Ltd, the UK's leading web-site performance monitoring company, since acquired by the NCC Group. www.siteconfidence.com.
Between 2005 and 2011 Richard was a member of the Advisory Board of Quickstart Global (now Quester Ltd) whose 'In-House Anywhere' offering allows companies to rapidly & economically establish captive operations around the world. www.quickstartglobal.com.
Richard plays a wider role in the ICT industry as observer, critical commentator - and awards' judge
He has written a regular opinion column (/blog) in IDG's CIO Magazine since April 2008, and contributes actively to IDG's initiatives for its community of leading UK CIO's. He is a regular judge for the UK Cloud Awards, the pan-European EuroCloud Awards, and the Nimbus Ninety IGNITE Awards.
He is a regular public speaker at ICT industry events. He takes a critical, informed and sceptical approach to the apparent bounty that the industry professes to offer. His particular emphasis is on the need for the industry to mature from an overly technology-focused youngster into a maturer, high reliability supplier of services that are shaped by & tightly align to end user needs: and on the non-technical roots of business value-add and competitive 'edge' in the industry.
He is co-author, with Mark Kobayashi-Hilary, of the business book 'Global Services - Moving to a Level Playing Field' (BCS 2007).
Richard is a Trustee of the charity HumanITy, which supports work devoted to tackling the issues of the digital divide and social exclusion. www.humanity.org.uk
Richard's involvement in the Arts World
Richard and his wife Penny Mason are small scale collectors of contemporary art and are active in the arts world through membership of groups such as the Contemporary Arts Society and ArtAngel. They are also architectural enthusiasts and have worked with architect Niall McLaughlin on a major refurbishment of their home, a Georgian Terrace house dating from 1793 in the Angel, Islington area of London.
Between 2002 and 2008, Richard was Chairman of the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust at the UK south coast resort of Bexhill on Sea. Here he led the development of the premier centre for the visual & performing arts on the UK south east coast, with a £10.0m refurbishment program. www.dlwp.com.