Broadgate Launches Start-Up Mentoring Programme

Posted on : 29-01-2013 | By : jo.rose | In : Innovation

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As part of our commitment to the technology start up community, and through our partnership with Techmeetups, we are launching a mentoring programme in order to help companies in their business development.

The founders of Broadgate have worked within technology in the City for over twenty years, helping a wide range of organisations with their business & IT change programmes. From their London office the leadership team work with a range of clients across industry sectors, including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Media and Telecoms.

The structure and objectives of the mentoring programme are;

  • To provide a sounding board for you to help shape your products and services towards real world client problems
  • Discuss product viability built around knowledge of client behaviours and industry trends
  • Shape products and services in the most efficient way for client needs
  • Give advice in terms of market segments and cross-selling opportunities
  • Where possible arrange product “show-casing” with CxO’s and their leadership teams
  • Assess the business model, growth inhibitors and how to set the foundations for creating value at the outset
  • Look at potential partners and joint business ventures to accelerate start up growth

Participants are assigned a dedicated partner from Broadgate Consultants to guide your company on a personal one-to-one basis.

We will also be involved in sponsoring and promoting a number of technology events through 2013 to connect the start-up community to businesses.

If you would like to enrol, or simply find out more, please contact jo.rose@broadgateconsultants.com

 

Broadgate Predicts 2013 – Preview

Posted on : 29-01-2013 | By : john.vincent | In : Innovation

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Last month we published our 2013 Technology Predictions and asked our readers to give us their view through a short survey. We have had a great response…so much so that we are keeping in open for 2 more weeks.

However, we thought we would share a few of the findings so far, prior to us producing the final report.

Current Ranking

As we stand, the predictions that generated the most agreement are;

  1. Infrastructure Services Continue to Commoditise
  2. Samsung/Android gain more ground over Apple
  3. Data Centre/Hosting providers continue to grow

Some interesting commentary against these;

Many companies have come to terms with the security/regulatory issues concerning commoditisation and cloud services, although still chose to build in-house for now. It will take some significant time to see IaaS address the legacy infrastructure burden.

On the Apple debate, respondents agreed enough to place in 2nd place but differed a lot in terms of how this will develop…there is a feeling that Apple are struggling to continue to innovate ahead of the market and consumers are wiser now, together with a cost pressure that, if it is relieved, will cause users to stay with them.

Regarding Data Centres, the importance of cloud and managed services continues to drive expansion. Within heavily regulated industries such as Financial Services there continues to be a desire to Build vs Buy, but respondents questioned for how long. Having your own DC is not a competitive advantage.

At the other end of the scale, the prediction that respondents disagreed most with was;

  • Instant Returns on Investment required (followed closely by)
  • More Rationalisation of IT Organisations

Again, a pick of some of the additional comments;

Whilst there still exists demand for long term and large corporate technology initiatives, the stance is starting to change somewhat towards more agile, focused investments. Unfortunately, legacy issues and organisational culture continue to block progress.

Whilst the market conditions and technology evolution is facilitating a reduction in workforce, respondents cited other equal forces in areas such as risk and control, plus offshore operations delivering less value than expected, working to counteract this.

Please continue to send us your thoughts before we close!

Interestingly the largest number of No Comments (40%) came against the prediction that “Crowd-funding services continue to gain market share”…maybe an article for February.

The War for Talent: A view from the front line

Posted on : 28-01-2013 | By : jo.rose | In : General News

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One of our readers contacted us following our publication of our survey, in particular regarding the war for talent and specifically how it relates to their experience in financial services. We thought it was an interesting insight…let us know what you think;

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Seeing the item in the Broadgate Consultants 2013 Survey regarding the talent wars for technical staff that banks will find themselves in prompted me to describe my brief experience of being on the “front line”, and some suggestions on how to improve things.

There are several companies on the internet that allow talented computer programmers to compete to demonstrate their coding prowess by coming up with the most efficient algorithm to complete a particular problem. Winners get cash prizes, and the most successful participants get invited to an expenses-paid, in-person competition in the USA.

In order to raise my bank’s profile and attract technically skilled recruits, it was decided that we would sponsor the conference for a particular year and have recruiters on-site to interview potential hires.

Working within Investment Banking (even in technology), there is a certain assumption that we have the best talent, are the best paid, and that people need to convince us why we should let them work here. Speaking to attendees at the conference showed that this no longer holds true in all cases.

Our recruiters were used to recruiting a certain profile of technology candidate – one that was interested in investment banking, had interned at Goldman Sachs, and that “reads the FT for fun”.

In contrast, the typical conference attendee was a very, very bright Eastern European male in his early twenties, and speaking to them at the time, it became clear that Google was their employer of choice (anyone over a certain points threshold was guaranteed an interview there).

From their perspective, the benefits were clear. They would get all their meals (and even their laundry!) taken care of, they could roll into work at 2pm wearing shorts and code all night, and their potential earnings from options would beat anything that we could offer as a salary. They wanted to work on interesting computing problems, in an informal atmosphere, and be well rewarded for their efforts.

Clearly, our hiring efforts were not destined to be successful.

I’d suggest that if banks want to be an attractive employer for these types of candidates, then they may have to make some changes.

Firstly, the culture within IT Departments.  Developers have a reputation for being non-conformist, and sometimes the most talented are the most eccentric. Although deadlines need to be kept and deliverables met, assessment should be based more on the “what” rather than the “how”.

Meetings and bureaucracy is another source of irritation. At Facebook, if your keyboard breaks you can get a new one from a (free) vending machine. How long would it take to order one where you are now? Would you rather your employees were coding, or calling the helpdesk?

Another issue that a lot of banks face is the lack of a technical career path.  Typically, within a bank’s technology function, the only way to progress in terms of seniority and salary is by managing people. Some of the brightest and best technical people have no interest in this and would be happy to stay technical and work on harder and more significant technical challenges for their whole career.

Finally, there is the issue of “respect”. At a lot of banks, anyone not Front Office is treated as a clerk. However, as more and more of banking becomes a technology business, then developers have the capability to make revenue changing impact on the business lines they support and should be recognised for this fact.

Clearly, this doesn’t apply to all IT Staff, but for that top 1% of technical contributors, perhaps you should treat them less like typists, and more like quants.