Andy Bates

Executive Business Consultant

I was brought up in rural Northamptonshire, and as a child I travelled quite a bit. Now settled in Sussex with my own family and three kids. Several opportunities to get into computers at a young age were all passed up in favour of outdoor pursuits such as walking and rugby. Realising that I might not make it as a professional sportsman I signed up for a degree in Civil Engineering and spent several years living and studying in London. After completing my studies, I took up a post within the construction robotics unit at the University as a researcher. But it was the short term role I took up after that, in the IT Support team, that really opened my eyes to the IT world.

What have I done?

After leaving the University for good I joined a small technical team supporting a very busy call centre and ticketing operation in the entertainment sector. Getting out a few years later, while the going was good, I moved back to the AEC sector and joined Kvaerner construction. There I progressed as both an area and people leader, while the company grew rapidly after its acquisition by Skanska. Moving away from my starting point in Service Delivery I picked up responsibility and teams for Configuration Management, Service Design, Asset Management and Automation. Together we built a large automated CMDB of assets, onto which ITIL processes were built and matured. Customers were also connected directly to services by the promotion of self-service, saving lots of time in the IT department. Alongside this the relationship between people and assets was strengthened as we rolled out several thousand iPhones and computers over the years. This continuous improvement approach added much needed value to our desktop and mobility services. This was coupled with finance leasing which allowed us to charge back operational costs to the business in a more granular way, and reduce capital spend.

In the area of software asset management (SAM) we gained a lot of experience very quickly through a series of large vendor audits. By introducing governance, technology and process we were able to turn around the situation. In a company where conduct and ethical behaviour are values held in the highest; software compliance takes on real importance. Unlocking the value in software through its utilisation and contract negotiation became more and more critical, and the advent of cloud services has brought that into even sharper relief. AEC companies rely on their BIM software, services and vendors more than anything. So it is vital that good arrangements are made to ensure business continuity, allow for growth and shrinkage and permit access to cutting edge technology.

Latterly I have been applying lean six sigma principles to better guide our process engineering through value stream mapping and other tools. I believe that IT organisations should seek out an appropriate level of IT maturity and security to match the business activity they support, and deliver that support in an agile and multi-modal way.

Passion for?

Interested in all types of rusty machinery from steam engines to tractors. Also into classic Minis with my own project car nearing completion. For exercise I play rugby and coach kids in the sport. I'm also a keen DIYer with a house extension on my list of achievements.


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