We had the privilege of sitting down with Terry Doherty, Founder and CEO of Doherty Associates. In this interview, we discussed the value of being proactive, the power of cloud in the hybrid era, and importance of a workforce that’s aware.
Within this bizarre newness we’re slowly calling normal, businesses are more focused than ever on securing themselves and their workforce from external threats. If we’ve learned anything from a scattered workforce, it’s that there are inherent vulnerabilities that most businesses are not equipped to accommodate. It’s with this in mind that we unpacked the value and capability of cloud and IT security with Terry Doherty, Founder and CEO of Doherty Associates.
Meet Terry Doherty
Founder & CEO, Doherty Associates
Terry is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Doherty Associates. Now in its 30th year, the organisation has multi-country presence, a global client base and a team of more than 100 people working round the clock.
Known for his entrepreneurial nature, he was one of the early adopters to set up a Microsoft Cloud practice, and Doherty Associates is now in its 15th year as a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner
Opening New Doors
A father, Kiwi, and keen golfer, Terry has extensive experience in the IT industry, founding Doherty Associates in 1991. Over 30 years on, his company has a multi-country presence and an around-the-clock workforce of over 100 people.
His entrepreneurial spirit has seen him acknowledged by the UK Technology Parliamentary review published in 2017. He also oversaw the company’s cloud customer portfolio quadruple and become an award-winning Tier I Microsoft Gold Partner with ISO9001 and 27001 accreditations.
When Terry launched Doherty Associates, it was in the wake of his former employer, an IBM reseller, going out of business. Taking a chance to consult for the clients of his former employer, Terry realised that there was an opportunity in the market to supply large FinServ businesses with top-end IT services, and thus began Doherty Associates’ journey to the present day.
Future in the Cloud: Always On & Proactive Trendspotting
In 2008, having successfully established and run Doherty Associates for 17 years, Terry Doherty was convinced that cloud was the future, and he believed it would flip his entire business model on its head. Adopting cloud that early proved pivotal, and it gave him the edge on much of the competition.
Doherty Associates was espousing the unique capabilities of cloud technology to businesses and ensuring a simpler and more effective way to corporate security early. That early expertise is still holding them in good stead today.
As Doherty Associates’ client base began expanding around the world, the need for a 24/7 capability was built, including operations, service delivery, support, and incident response. In this way, they offered something very few could, and that’s complete service and support. To anyone, anywhere, at any time.
For FinServ and legal firms, that kind of peace of mind cannot be overvalued. Having staff in multiple time zones means that the workforce isn’t overworked or required to work unreasonable hours, they are simply available to do the work and, as Terry says, “fit hand in glove with our professional services team,” so everyone is on the same page.
The biggest weakness of technology in a hybrid workspace is the human firewall. You can put all the processes in place and have the most secure infrastructure, but people who aren’t made aware of the threats will still be susceptible to attack.
Terry Doherty Founder & CEO of Doherty Associates
Hybrid Working, Covid-19 & the Age of Employee Awareness
The shift to remote and hybrid working models created an even greater demand for cloud services and placed an even heavier burden on keeping them secure. When the pandemic hit, Doherty Associates shifted to a ‘service mindset’ and helped their clients pivot their own operations securely, enabling their operations to continue safely with a geographically dispersed and home-bound workforce.
Terry highlights that they “had to do a lot of things that weren’t in our service agreements with these clients… working around the clock” to ensure the survival of their clients. “It shows how unprepared most businesses were for the disruption we faced, and how valuable it was to have a cloud provider who was able to get them to where they needed to be.”
“The biggest weakness of technology in a hybrid workspace is the human firewall,” says Terry. “You can put all the processes in place and have the most secure infrastructure, but people who aren’t made aware of the threats will still be susceptible to attack.”
To this end, Doherty Associates champion a seamless security experience, an ideal scenario that “allows people and organisations to do the right work, making sure they’re secure and safe, without it getting in their way.” This is detailed in their report, ‘Who Moved My Moat,’ which plays on the idea of a Castle and Moat philosophy of corporate security. “The issue now,” says Terry, “is that the moat has moved from the corporate office space where everything can be controlled, to hundreds and thousands of moats around each individual employee.”
Our conversation with Terry concludes with some advice for IT Leaders and CEOs looking to succeed in the hybrid working era.
“Make sure you’ve got your people the best tools to help them do their work,” he begins, “and make sure they’re as secure as they can be without getting in their way.” If you can provide the ideal environment for secure and productive work, your employees are more likely to be safe and productive.
Lastly Terry turns to wellness, something we’ve not touched on yet but something he believes in deeply.
“People need to be monitoring their work-life balance because we think we’re working less hours now because we don’t commute, but we’re actually working more. People need to ensure they’re taking care of themselves, taking regular breaks, and not working for too long. I think technology has a big part to play in that.”
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