As Head of IT, Jason’s role is to ensure that technology helps to deliver measurable benefit to the practice. In his words, “Technology on its own makes no difference, it’s about how people use it and how we manage it.” That’s why he promotes ‘business change’ projects and not technology projects.
The ‘sweet spots’ of Jason’s career have been helping small organisations to transition into medium-sized ones. That involves focusing on scalability, transparency and most importantly succession-planning both for people and for systems from the outset. He has enjoyed being part of Stride Treglown’s maturity journey since 2009 and has helped to evolve our former ad-hoc systems and processes into the enviable ones we have today.
What are the current big trends in your sector and what are the key challenges that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
The trend in IT continues towards more and more “cloud based”, “as a service” systems (or “rental” as it used to be called!). This benefits suppliers because they get valuable recurring revenue streams but ultimately costs us much more. On the plus side, rental can make it easier for us to keep up-to-date with the latest systems but it takes away some of our control making vendor selection and exit strategy even more important.
Some of the current challenges facing IT are rising prices, shortage of supplies and long lead times making project planning very difficult. The biggest challenge though is cyber security and this is likely to remain the case for some time. We are seeing increasingly sophisticated attacks in increasing numbers making our security a continually evolving challenge.
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Be open-minded and try to identify and overcome your innate prejudices but be diligent with information sources and always question the motivations that may lie behind them.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
If I wasn’t in IT, I’d probably be in carpentry. I love starting out with an idea and developing my design into something tangible. Wood is a fantastic material. My oak kitchen table and benches were growing in my garden until “hurricane hoolie” had its way and gave me the opportunity to put my saws and chisels to good use. I really like the concept of repurposing something that has literally grown a few metres away.
It’s not exactly a podcast but one of my favourite YouTube videos is Dan Pink’s RSA animate talk: “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.” I keep returning to this in all sorts of different contexts, it’s really thought provoking. If you give people a goal and then get out of their way they often do amazing things.
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment is completing the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 1992. It was a life-changing adventure that taught me that anybody can do anything if they put their mind to it.
Have you won any awards?
I was awarded the Tasman Cup at the end of my full-time MBA course at Cranfield. This was voted by the rest of the year for the student who had contributed most to the course. Really, I think the reason I won it was because I enacted simulated brain surgery on another student in a strategy class to illustrate the benefits of diversity. A few people got splattered in tomato sauce in the process – memorable but messy!