On the lighter side of things, we ask Mark Devereux, CTPO at Scalable Software, what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
I’ve had a few standout moments during my career, with roles that have varied from Head of Engineering to user experience and now CTPO. High on the list has to be helping to grow my first SaaS business to a successful exit, culminating years of hard work from a great team. Of course, I suspect more great moments are to come in my current role at Scalable, particularly as we work on some exciting new capabilities for our workplace analytics platform, Acumen. Currently, this solution is primarily aimed at IT leaders, but future updates will expand Acumen into other departments, such as sales, HR and front-line operations. It’s exciting to be a part of this growth.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
In short, I didn’t think of a career in technology! Like many people, I fell into it while supporting myself through university and it stuck. Long years of hard work and working my way up the ladder. I particularly like that my role straddles the creative and the technical. It is my job to build out Scalable’s strategic vision – to work out where our technology is headed and then to lead the execution of that vision into a deliverable roadmap.
What style of management philosophy do you employ in your current position?
I believe the best managers are those that are able to build a productive, enthusiastic team that is able to operate at its maximum potential while still enjoying it at the same time. To do that, I think you have to always remain open-minded, be creative and passionate. At Scalable we pride ourselves on our expertise in people and technology, helping organisations optimise productivity and achieve successful digital outcomes. I hope that we lead by example in our management philosophy!
What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2022 and why?
Hybrid working! In the post-pandemic world, nine out of 10 organisations will be combining remote and on-site working, according to McKinsey. There’s no hiding from the fact that it’s what employees want – our research found that 42% of office workers said hybrid gave them a better work-life balance and a third said it made them more productive. This transition has been completely underpinned by technology.
The pandemic has fast-tracked Digital Transformation and both organisations and employees are having to get used to the new technology that comes with a ‘work anywhere’ culture. Meanwhile, organisations who spent hard and fast on new technology during the pandemic are now realising this level of spending has become unsustainable and unmanageable for IT teams. With this in mind, the new trend going forward will be a shift in focus towards optimising these digital assets to maximise employee success while still controlling costs.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Key areas of investment are focused on technologies that support and facilitate hybrid working. Tools that enable communication and collaboration and drive greater productivity and efficiency are essential to the future of work, no matter the industry. In addition, solutions that give IT leaders insights and data are critical to keeping track of what technology is being used, by who and how often. Such insights are essential to effectively managing a distributed, hybrid workforce.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
A bit of a niche hobby, but I’m a keen astrophotographer, so when I’m not working (and when it’s not cloudy) that keeps me focussed and busy! It’s a great way to unwind and keep grounded.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
Nothing. I believe all the decisions we make – both good and bad – contribute to getting you where you are today and I’m happy where I am!
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
I think the CTO role is now often as much about the product as it is about technology. Modern CTOs aren’t just techies – they’re product people too and I view my role as more ‘CTPO’ in light of this. As Acumen continues to develop, my role will become more about linking the back-end technical engineering side with the front-end solution and business outcomes – looking at what else our customers want and how we can incorporate that into our platform.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
Find a good mentor that you can learn from – someone who inspires you and you can emulate – and show them you are prepared to put the hard work in. Equally, remember to bring your own take to the role – trust your gut feeling as much as using the help that is around you!Click below to share this article