In this, the fourth of a series of ‘In our shoes’ blogs, Triad Chief Technology Officer Ant Cook talks about everything from what’s challenging, what’s fun and why he still codes.
What is a CTO?
There’s no single definition of a CTO because every organisation has different needs. At Triad, I’m here to ensure our technical capabilities support our business goals and the demand we see, through a combination of upskilling, recruitment and resource planning, for today and the future.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical start to my day is when I plan my day out, work through my inbox and organise my diary to prepare for meetings. After that, every day is different. I may be at a stand-up for a running project. I’ll be catching up with colleagues on 1-1’s with various themes from personal development, business development, business strategy, problem solving, research and live project analysis. I help qualify in/out new opportunities and spend a significant amount of time contributing responses to bids we’re working on. I still like to tinker with technology, so I may code or deploy something in the cloud to see what I can learn.
What do you love most about your role, and what’s the hardest thing about your role?
I love seeing teams and individuals solving new challenges. Sometimes people don’t realise what they’ve achieved so it’s also rewarding to help them identify and celebrate those successes.
The hardest thing is keeping all the plates spinning whilst finding time to think, plan and act strategically. It’s a ‘healthy chaos’. I hope!
What’s the biggest misconception about CTOs?
I think many CTOs in consulting feel pressure to embrace new and emerging technology that’s ‘hot’ on the market. Whilst we need to stay current and relevant, we also need to remain focussed on key clients and established technologies, only investing when there’s sufficient maturity in an area to ensure momentum in the pipeline of work.
Do you have a role model? And if so, how have they influenced you?
Not specifically! My parents influenced me with their ethos of working hard, contributing to their community and never giving up. The people around me inspire me. Everyone has something I can learn from. That’s why I always encourage people to share their knowledge within the company. Everyone is richer for it.
Marketing spin aside, what do you think makes Triad different from other IT Consultancies?
We really do put the client first, delivering what we believe is in their interests, as opposed to being primarily ‘sales led’. We are meritocratic and trust that delivering successful outcomes for our clients will translate into new opportunities. We have been able to grow as a result, without compromising on quality and culture.
How would you describe the Triad culture?
I joined Triad seven years ago. It has always been a supportive, nurturing culture from an organisation that holds itself to exceptionally high standards. We’ve benefited greatly from growing our permanent headcount; everything we learn is re-invested into the business instead of walking out the door when the contract ends. We’ve developed communities of practice so consultants can learn, share and innovate. We’ve become a more diverse and vibrant organisation benefitting from many new joiners in the early stages of their careers who offer a sense of eagerness and challenge that can complement as well as disrupt more established approaches and thinking.
If you have a question for Ant Cook or the Triad team, please get in touch here.