TiG awarded ‘We invest in people’, standard accreditation

TiG awarded ‘We invest in people’, standard accreditation

TiG is delighted to announce we’ve been awarded ‘We invest in people’, standard accreditation, following an assessment from Investors in People.

The award recognises a commitment to supporting and developing our workforce.

How we were assessed

Investors in People is a community interest company that’s helped over 11 million people across 75 countries to make work better.

Organisations that meet the ‘We invest in our people’ framework (see below) – which covers 9 key areas across Leading, Supporting, and Improving – achieve the accreditation.

What this accreditation means

It means that principles and practices are in place to ensure staff work in a mutually supportive environment – which ultimately makes TiG a great place to work.

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate TiG. Being accredited with ‘We invest in people’ is a remarkable effort for any organisation, and places TiG in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people.”

Commenting on the award, Des Lekerman, CEO of TiG said: “Thank you to all our employees for their dedication and contributions. This award is a great achievement for everyone involved.

“Our ‘We invest in people’ assessment was a great opportunity to learn from our staff – and this award is certainly not the end of that journey. We’re committed to investing in our talent and have exciting plans for the future.

“People are at the heart of the business and we are striving to make TiG the very best place to work – a place where careers can flourish.”

We’ll leave the final words to Investors in People: “The success of any organisation begins and ends with people. If we make work better for everyone, we make work better for every organisation. And if we do that, we can help make society stronger, healthier, and happier.”

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Outstanding data analytics solution

Microsoft Identity and Security Summit

Darren Howells

6-7 October 2021

Learn more and book

The UK’s premier, free-to-attend identity management and cyber security event is back – and it’s virtually just as good as ever!

Digital transformation has gathered pace in a post-COVID world, bringing with it more sophisticated cyber threats and secure remote working challenges.

ThirdSpace’s 15th annual Microsoft Identity and Security Summit will get you ready for what’s next.

When: 6-7 October 2021

Where:

  • Day 1: Microsoft TVP, Reading (In-person) or virtual
  • Day 2: 100% virtual

How much: 100% free-to-attend

Book My Place

Clicking the ‘Book My Place’ button will redirect you to ThirdSpace’s website. Here you will learn more about the event and be able to book your place.

The agenda

The agenda is still being finalised, but there will be a heavy focus on:

  • What’s next on Microsoft’s Azure AD and Microsoft 365 roadmaps
  • Microsoft’s key identity and security technologies
  • How to enable secure, productive remote working
  • How to protect your organisation from evolving security threats

What to expect

The event will mix C-level business sessions and more technical tracks.

You can expect:

  • Keynote presentations from Microsoft and industry experts
  • ‘Ask the expert’ private strategy sessions and deep dive workshops
  • Client success stories, networking, entertainment, and more

Book My Place

Clicking the ‘Book My Place’ button will redirect you to ThirdSpace’s website. Here you will learn more about the event and be able to book your place.


will ai steal my job

8 data & analytics use cases which drive business value

Darren Howells

The ways that data and analytics can be used to drive business value are as varied as the organisations themselves.

When a company sets out with a clear goal in mind and takes ambitious steps to accelerate their data and analytics maturity, the results can be significant, for both internal and external stakeholders alike.

In this article, we’re going to look at eight examples of real-world data and analytics initiatives that we’ve seen drive business value for our clients.

1. Reducing inefficiencies

SMBs are increasingly using data and analytics to automatically identify and address inefficiencies. For example, a global manufacturer of agricultural equipment was having issues with their training division with spaces rented for dealership training courses frequently going unused.

Invariably these inefficiencies only became evident at the end of the year – long past the time when something could have been done to address the issue.

Working with the client we were able to automate data collection across multiple systems to provide insight. Having a cohesive, real-time overview of bookings for individual courses allowed them to proactively target under-utilised training courses and to approach specific dealers who were underperforming in the areas being offered for training.

2. Unifying data resources

Organisations large and small need to pool together data from disparate sources in a coherent and accessible format. Healthcare is a prime example, where a collective of 8 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) needed to work with Local Authorities to deliver health and social care to a major UK city with a local population of 2.1 million.

They developed an analytics solution that pulled data together from all relevant care settings – acute, community, mental health, GP and social care – including information around sex, race and age.

During the current COVID pandemic, this unified system enabled them to identify spikes in certain community groups and act quickly to provide assistance and guidance. In a specific example, one borough was seeing a particular increase within the Sri Lankan community. Early visibility of this increase allowed for smartly targeted communications to schools and places of worship regarding social distancing and safety protocols.

3. Internal process management

Managing complex and dynamic processes across an organisation is increasingly hard to do using legacy systems and outdated approaches. Data and analytics can streamline these processes to provide information-driven insights.

An example of this could be seen in a mid-sized telecommunications provider that offered network solutions to their clients. This typically involved procuring multiple lines from other providers and joining them together as a managed network. They had tens of thousands of lines, for which they were paying bills on a monthly basis.

The challenge was that when clients cancelled certain lines, these lines were often not cancelled with the third-party provider. This resulted in monthly charges on lines that provided no income.

To solve this issue, they built a system using fuzzy logic to match lines across inventory, supplier bills and customer invoices. By accurately tracking their supply base they were able to cut waste and reduce unnecessary costs of approximately £800k per annum.

4. Reducing error

Errors resulting from incompatible or outdated systems, data silos, or human action can have a significant impact on the bottom line. A major energy company turned to data and analytics to help automate repetitive, but important, tasks.

The company purchased and settled contracts with a wide variety of minor energy providers (e.g. windfarms, solar parks, energy from waste). The problem was, when settling contracts, they needed to calculate what was owed based on complex industry rules overlaid with the specific terms of the contract, which varied by energy provider.

Their existing process relied on approximately 1,500 spreadsheets, managed by a team of offshore resources. These were frequently prone to error and relied on a significant manual overhead. The solution was to replace the manual process with an automated process, which resulted in a significantly reduced error rate, a reduction in over-payments, fewer resources, and faster monthly turn-around time.

5. Improving customer experience

Customers increasingly desire personalisation and flexibility. By embedding analytics into the customer experience, it’s possible to empower customers with the information and options they are looking for.

A corporate travel company was looking for solutions to increase retention of existing clients and to win new ones. They chose to run a series of requirements gathering workshops that brought together a panel of the organisations’ clients; travel managers for a variety of law firms, hedge funds and private equity firms.

This open dialogue helped to establish what questions the clients wanted to answer (e.g., What are we spending? Where are we acting out of policy?) and the level of granular detail each answer required (e.g., spending across region, function etc.)

Dashboards were developed and played back to the group for feedback and further refinement. This process helped the company to move past the static monthly reports they had previously offered, and instead put information directly into the hands of their clients – giving them immediate answers to their questions.

6. Industry wide insight

For many organisations, business value relies on analysing a range of market factors for insights that can be easily accessed by teams across the business. For example, a global pharmaceutical company needed to quickly weigh a variety of industry-wide concerns to arrive at product pricing decisions across 90 separate markets.

Their solution had to enable pricing teams to quickly compare scenarios and iterate fast. Using a scalable modelling engine and sensitivity analysis, the company was able to leverage a range of data assets that they already had within the organisation – including clinical trials, market research, industry benchmarks, financial forecasts and more.

A suite of over 20 Dashboards were created and integrated with an Alteryx based solution to provide a robust pricing decision support tool that maximised data resources and empowered teams to make pricing decisions in a data-driven environment based on facts, not gut instinct.

7. Weighing internal and external factors

Data and analytics played a key role in how a global FTSE 100 Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) organisation with 60,000 employees attracted, retained and managed talented staff. They had in invested heavily in SuccessFactors as their new HR Information System, but over a two-year period they hadn’t gained the analytics insights they needed from the system. Specifically, their talent management team was struggling to reduce upper quartile performer churn of employees.

To grow their data maturity in this area, they moved to combine data resources from several systems – including SuccessFactors, LinkedIn, Facebook and Oxford Economics along with several manual reference files – into a cloud data warehouse.

By consolidating and analysing both internal and external data resources, their talent management team was able to compare grade and income for each employee and contextualise this information against economic factors at a local level such (average income and unemployment rates etc.) This allowed the team to ultimately reduce churn of valuable employees by identifying high performing outliers and adjusting their salary accordingly.

8. Granular insights for an organisational overview

Frequently, businesses are leveraging data and analytics to provide granular data that supports organisation-wide insight and decision making.

A major energy company required a monthly granular understanding of the margin that they were making across different market segments and a range of products. This needed to be calculated using management accounting techniques, allocating a range of industry costs using complex bottom-up calculations across 1 billion rows of data.

Their legacy systems were cumbersome to run, expensive in terms of licencing and hardware costs, and ultimately did not provide them with the granularity of insight that they required.

To solve this problem, they designed and implemented a new solution that decreased the turn-around time of the monthly view from weeks to days. This new granular level of visibility into their clients provided greater insight and transparency in the results, allowing them to increase prices with underperforming clients and reduce the overall operating costs significantly.

This article is in partnership with TrueCue as part of our Data-Driven SMB series. For more information, advice and resources on how to accelerate your organisation’s data and analytics maturity, click here.

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kick-start your path to a truly data-driven culture

How to kick-start your path to a truly data-driven culture

Darren Howells

Whilst the business benefits of data and analytics have been widely explored, the importance of a data-driven organisational culture has not been as widely championed as it should.

Indeed, data-driven culture came out on top in a list of activities crucial to data and analytics team success in a Gartner study published in October 2020.1

A data-driven culture is the collective set of behaviours, beliefs, values and actions expressed and taken in day to day activities. It’s vital to business decision-making because two main factors that inform the decisions we make are the process and mindset (i.e. our beliefs and values) we have in mind when making them.

Culture also involves knowledge sharing, learning and development between peers and the means and level of practice and process adoption throughout an organisation. In this article, we’ll look to provide you with some culture kick-starters you can take to accelerate your journey towards establishing a truly data-driven culture.

These pointers do not constitute a ‘big bang’, all-at-once approach. Instead, they should provide a series of immediate, small but actionable changes to support the foundational aspects of a data-driven transformation. Keep in mind that these changes should be relatively simple to roll out, aiming for low resistance activities that encourage adoption and support longer-term roadmap milestones.

By making manageable increments in your data and analytics journey you are actively managing change within your team or organisation, which is key for success. You should aim to go at a pace that is manageable for your team, based on existing skillsets and current levels of data literacy.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to kick-start you on the road to data-driven decision-making:

1. Managing change

People are instinctively cautious about change, and often outright resistant to it where it might be perceived to have a negative impact for them, or where they may (often mistakenly) think it will result in increased workload for them. This is especially true with data and analytics, with many people assuming they’ll lose power or fall behind the rate of change.

As such, make sure to communicate how you’ll support employees through these changes, and emphasise the personal development opportunities that come with business model transformation. Hold regular one-to-one or group meetings to eliminate any negative feeling, and upskill individuals and teams so they can fully participate in the new data-driven culture.

2. Community communication

Make data a key focus in your community-wide communications. It should be part of the conversation, and the aim is to increase overall knowledge and education around data and analytics.

An example of how you can do this is to introduce a data-focused section in newsletters, team-wide emails or bulletins. Including defined business KPIs reinforces why analytics is important and how it results in improved outcomes and success. This will also help employees that feel uncomfortable asking questions in public, and increase the overall data literacy of your organisation, bit by bit.

3. Internal case studies

Don’t be afraid to shout about your analytics triumphs. Bang the drum about exemplary internal analytics case studies and the results they’ve delivered for various business domains. Often, organisations fail to encourage the uptake of data-driven decision-making because there’s no obvious tie-back to the benefits of doing so. Again, always aim to quantify these successes.

Make sure management call out results driven by data-driven methods where relevant, and do this in your own meetings with team leaders to achieve buy-in from them.

4. Real life examples

The start of a data-driven transformation is often characterised by a lack of awareness within organisations of the opportunities that analytics can unlock. This can hamper adoption and decrease the chances of your data and analytics strategy being a success.

To avoid this, use real life examples that make it easy for your employees to see the benefits they could enjoy from a data-driven approach to work. Empower team leaders to introduce news stories and reputable research as topics of discussion, and always aim to quantify success. Again, this will bolster trust in your data and analytics strategy and keep the upside firmly in mind, which will in turn drive adoption.

5. The “Ronseal approach” – it does what it says on the tin

Projects are often given non-meaningful names, confused by excessive creativity or fixated on acronyms. To avoid this, follow the simple approach where your projects do what they suggest they’re going to based on names and terminology used. Put conventions in place for outcome-based naming conventions that point to who the project is aimed at (e.g. who is the stakeholder?) and what the overall aim is (e.g. customer retention). You should use the same approach when defining and naming any element of your work, such as KPIs and reports.

This will keep your teams on track throughout different phases of the project, and keep business goals in full view as they look to action analytics insights.

To support this, you need to have effective definitions in place: define, define, define. This links back to effective communication. Removing ambiguity is key to driving adoption, and especially important in a field such as data and analytics, where there are lots of technical terms and reams of information to make sense of.

Get rid of this ambiguity by defining wherever you can. Consider creating glossaries of commonly used terms, or putting together presentations and written materials which can be used in meetings, one-to-ones and stakeholder groups. Everyone should be reading from the same page to ensure consistent and effective adoption, enterprise-wide.

The behaviour changes required to drive a data-driven culture transformation require thoughtful communication and a systematic plan that prizes influence and support over command and control. While a top-down approach that presents overall business objectives is vitally important, you must also consider how team leaders and managers can make changes ‘locally’ in their teams.

This article is in partnership with TrueCue as part of our Data-Driven SMB series. For more information, advice and resources on how to accelerate your organisation’s data and analytics maturity, click here.

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MiFID II Q&A with Jacques Fourie

MiFID II Q&A with Jacques Fourie

Darren Howells

In this Q&A session between TiG’s Director of Managed Services, Jacques Fourie, and COO George Georgiou, we’ve covered some frequently asked questions about call recording for MiFID II compliance. Watch the full conversation in the video below, or read the transcript further down this page.

If you’d like to find out more about how to utilise Microsoft Teams adaptations to allow for MiFID II compliant call recording, Contact us.

MiFID II compliance is something a lot of our financial services clients have to contend with, could you explain what it means?

MiFID II is a regulation imposed by the FCA, it comes under European standards. It’s around transactional capturing and reporting. So, what that means essentially is any organisation operating within scope of MiFID II needs to be compliant and recording transactional information. So, I’ll give you some examples. This could be dealers talking about a trade on the phone, using instant messaging, using small message services. Anything like that needs to be recorded and held in a compliant fashion and accessible for compliance requirements should they arise

So that is essentially what MiFID II is – in a nutshell, it’s call recording, which is how most people refer to it. How long we keep it, and the access that the compliance officer has to ensure that we are maintaining compliance as well is a big part of MiFID II.

Looking at our clients, would you suggest that the ones that don't have to have MiFID II compliance look at some of those requirements to increase their security?

I think in any governance situation, the more historical logs and activity logs that you can capture that can help with H.R. forensics or anything like that is always useful. And also in terms of protection of data, the who and why and what happened is really good. So to give you an example for call recording, TiG are not in scope for MiFID II, but we do call recording for our own compliance and quality measures

So there might not only be compliance reasons, but it also could be for a quality concern as well – that you might want to record calls. Then you have to control the access to ensure that the data you hold is being kept in the right way as well.

Could you give me a view on what that call recording piece looks like, and is it available through Microsoft Teams?

Not currently, no. Teams in its native form allows you to record calls, but that is optional. MiFID II implies that you have to record everything as compulsory. So what we use at TiG for our customers who want to use Teams as a telephony solution – because it’s all encompassing from the from the instant messaging and calls – is we use various partners that provide an overlay to capture calls that are made on Teams – that’s external and internal calls – and then keep them encrypted and accessible in a MiFID II compliant database.

If we wanted to use a compliant MiFID II telephony solution - I know that TiG use 8x8 for example - can I integrate that with Teams so that the users see one interface rather than multiple interfaces?

Yes you can, some partners allow that. And ultimately, what you want to do is match your security and compliance requirements with your desktop and user experience. You don’t want to that to start to impact your operations and how you run your business. So there’s a single pane of glass from an instant messaging and call and conferencing point of view, Teams is obviously perfect for that. So it’s about how do we bolt something on and allow those other partner systems to to capture all the data, all the transactional data that’s going on in Teams that might be around trades or sensitive information and then make sure it’s stored in a compliant way

So that’s basically what we do. Not all partners support it, but that’s become more and more of a trend these days, especially because there is that gap in the native Teams compliance area that other big telephony partners have filled.

Most organisations now are looking at Office 365, if they haven't migrated to Office 365 already. Can we achieve MiFID II compliance within Office 365, excluding the telephony piece, which you've already covered.

Some of the other transactional requirements that have existed pre-MiFID II, for example a big one is email. Emails can also contain transactional information around trades and sensitive things that are in scope for MiFID II. A lot of clients have used smart hosts in the past – what I mean by that is global relay or Mimecast – to provide the email compliance, for four to seven years plus depending on your organisation, if you’re under the PRA or FCA. What we’re seeing is some clients have moved into trying to consolidate their tools in the Microsoft stack and Microsoft do provide out of the box compliance in M365

We were actually having a discussion about it this morning with another client. The out of the box compliance solutions are in form of things called litigation hold and legal hold, where that means we’re allowed to take an email that might have been exchanged between me and you George and then put a hold on it so that it cannot be deleted. Yes, you can delete it out of your Outlook, or you can delete it out of your your Teams session, but essentially, we’ve got a record of that, a compliant record that’s administratively controlled in the background.

So if we had to go back to that for a compliance reason, we’ve got that data stored there for as long as we’ve agreed on and set the policy. So there are a lot of compliance mechanisms within Office 365 that you can use to maintain all that transactional reporting.

What would your advice be to achieve compliance in terms of data backup? Should backups be made within the Microsoft environment or externally?

What we tend to suggest is not an eggs in one basket approach. So the same classic data centre architecture approach still exists with M365. So you’ve got all your email in the 365 platform, all your Teams data, all your Onedrive data. You can obviously use mechanisms within those platforms to keep data for a certain amount of time. But ultimately what we want to do is have a copy of that outside of the Microsoft stack that’s readily available

You need to look at things like encrypting it in flight to wherever it’s going and encrypting it at rest. So TiG use our own backup for those products in our own data centres. So that means you have a copy of that data for an unlimited retention period that’s encrypted and stored off-site outside of Microsoft. So if, for whatever reason, you couldn’t get that data in Microsoft, it’s available externally. I still wouldn’t shy away from the immediate backup solutions in Microsoft, because obviously, if you want just to do standard restores the fast backup 30 days, 60 days is good to have in the same location as your production data.

But in terms of long term stuff, you want to be taking that off-site and keeping securely off-site so that if anything should go wrong you can get to that data and you’ve got a little bit more control over it that way as well.

Is it possible to go too far and put too many security controls in place, costing more than necessary?

Yeah, I think what I’ve seen is that complex systems go in place to achieve the compliance and then that starts to impact your operations. You’ve got lots of vendors involved. You might have one vendor doing the the calling parts and another vendor doing the recording part. And then they’re hosted in two different places. When that breaks down, when there’s problems there, it opens up the opportunity for you to have gaps in your compliance, which you don’t want. So you want to keep things lean and simple, and I think you need to look at be careful what technology partners or set up you’re looking at to achieve it, because there’s loads of different ways to achieve it.

I also think that technology is not the only answer. You need to have an HR policy and a corporate governance policy that is MiFID II to compliant as well. So the way you are dictating to your employees how they interact with your systems, the fact that they must use corporate systems to exchange information that’s in scope, and transactional data is very important as well. There’s no use having all this fancy phone system, call recording, transcripts and everything, if traders are picking up their personal mobiles and calling each other and discussing sensitive information.

So I think there’s a mix of policy and technology and you’ve got to get the balance right between the two and also staff awareness as well is a big thing. So not only the is compliance officer aware of MiFID II and what it is, and how the technology you’ve put in place meets that requirement, but the staff who are in scope of that need to understand that too, so that they are maintaining compliance. The last thing you want to do is go back to that day and time that you need that compliance information and for some reason that wasn’t used or was stopped, or there was some complicated problem because you had all these vendors involved and then you don’t have those records. And then obviously you’re going to be in hot water from a governance and regulation point of view.

To find out more about the work TiG do to support our Financial Services clients, take a look at the Alternative Investment page. Additionally, you can find out more about Microsoft Teams here.

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Nick Lamidey

Nick Lamidey

Darren Howells

Nick Lamidey – Passionate, enthusiastic, optimistic, impatient and a bit ‘full on’… TiG’s Chief Sales Officer is a man whose glass is very much half full. With a degree in Mathematics from Leicester University, Nick has a very analytical approach and is ferociously focussed on the numbers (which his sales team will attest to!).

But it’s not all numbers, Nick also champions collaboration and team spirit, consistently getting his team to deliver a fantastic client experience. And it’s not just in work that Nick seeks to smash targets – in his spare time, Nick runs ultra marathons, with a particular love of 100 milers!

Nick joined TiG as part of the acquisition of ThirdSpace, where he was Sales Director. ThirdSpace remains a separate brand within TiG and is a leading identity and security service company.

Nick Lamidey

Nick Lamidey


Neil Coughlan

Neil Coughlan

Darren Howells

Neil Coughlan is passionate about new technology. In fact, he loves it – especially when it helps businesses become more productive and secure. This is what inspired him as a consultant 25 years ago, and this is what continues to drive him as Chief Strategy Officer.

Neil joined TiG as part of the acquisition of ThirdSpace, where he was CEO. ThirdSpace remains a separate brand within TiG and is a leading identity and security service company.

“Our goal is to remain the UK’s go-to expert for Microsoft identity and security solutions,” says Neil.

“We believe that with control comes freedom. When you know your data and your customers’ data is safe, and you are in control of who has access to your systems, you are free to work creatively, flexibly and collaboratively.”

Neil Coughlan

Neil Coughlan


Holistic security for complex capital market organisations

Holistic security for complex capital market organisations

Darren Howells

Microsoft Roundtable – Tuesday 30th March, 2pm

Book A Place

A roundtable event, hosted by ThirdSpace, the experts in identity and security

Following our recent news about ThirdSpace Ltd becoming part of TiG, we’re delighted to announce our first joint event. This roundtable will be hosted by ThirdSpace and will give you the opportunity to learn more about the team and their specialist expertise.

Why TiG

Tuesday 30th March 2021

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Virtual Event on Microsoft Teams

Free-to-attend

Book A Place

Simplify security infrastructure, protect your organisation and maintain compliance with Microsoft

Complex infrastructures are harder to secure – fact. So, for organisations dealing with multi-cloud IT estates within high threat risk / highly regulated markets, finding a comprehensive yet holistic approach to security is paramount.

Join the ThirdSpace experts and find out how to uplift your security posture through key Microsoft 365 technologies.

Agenda

We’ll talk you through the Microsoft security tools that will help you respond to threats quicker, improve your cross-cloud security management and visibility – and ensure maximum ROI from your security projects.

You’ll learn:

  • How to extend Azure’s leading security features to your entire multi-cloud estate
  • How to improve visibility, compliance and management with Azure Security Center
  • How to detect and respond to threats with Microsoft Defender and Azure Sentinel

To get the most out of this roundtable please come prepared to discuss your challenges and environment. This session is ideal for senior managers, and IT security decision-makers within financial services, banking, insurance and capital markets.

Book A Place

Pressing the ‘Book a Place’ button will open a new tab on the ThirdSpace website. Here you will be able to enter your details to confirm you would like to attend the event.

Delivered by:

security for capital markets

David Guest – Solution Architect & Technology Evangelist

holistic security for capital markets

Mathew Richards – Head of Mobility & Security

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data intelligence for private equity

TiG and ThirdSpace Join Forces

Darren Howells

To Become the UK’s Leading Advanced Digital MSP

We’re delighted to announce that we have added ThirdSpace Ltd to the TiG Data Intelligence family. TiG are determined to help more customers thrive by through technology that drives real business results. ThirdSpace will play a pivotal role in helping to further secure our customers by providing the control to liberate with leading identity and security solutions from Microsoft.

ThirdSpace has demonstrated clear market dominance when it comes to implementing high-quality Identity & Access Management (IAM), Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) and Mobility & Security (M&S) solutions. They have also developed a very strong relationship with Microsoft, the leading provider of these technologies, and has won several prestigious industry awards.

ThirdSpace’s position as Microsoft’s go to partner for Identity and Security will increase TiG’s cyber security expertise, with a specialism that complements our existing cloud-based services. This union creates a powerful joint proposition that delivers a fully comprehensive suite of services for secure digital transformation.

We have long recognised an increasing demand from our clients for security services, which we can now deliver via a proven, experienced and trusted brand and team.

The group now boasts over 210 employees providing advanced Azure transformational solutions, data analytics, 24/7 managed services, as well as the latest Sentinel and SOC solutions to identify and respond to critical security threats.

To drive the company’s ambitions as the UK’s leading Advanced Digital MSP, ThirdSpace’s CEO, Neil Coughlan, will join the TiG board as Chief Strategy Officer and Sales Director, Nick Lamidey, will join the board as Chief Sales Officer.

Neil Coughlan states “This acquisition builds on a long-standing relationship with TiG – a team that we know and trust, and an organisation that retains the same culture of supporting and developing great people to enable success. We are delighted to be realising one of ThirdSpace’s strategic goals in expanding our security capabilities with a full Managed Service Cloud Platform and offering.”

Des Lekerman, CEO, TiG states, “Over the years and with a number of strategic acquisitions, we have built a great business that we are extremely proud of. This acquisition is transformational as we can now provide a deeper and broader set of services to our clients. There is huge demand in the market for an advanced digital MSP with a customer centric flexible approach. The combined suite of services is a key differentiator in the market and a fantastic opportunity for all our people.’

The acquisition has been completed with the financial backing of minority investor BGF, that will continue to support TiG’s ambitious plans for expansion and market penetration going forward. It is the third acquisition that TiG has made since BGF’s investment.

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building a data & analytics roadmap

Building a data & analytics roadmap which delivers business value

Darren Howells

It’s not uncommon for data and analytics to get a first foothold through individual teams or siloed projects

However, having multiple ad hoc approaches across an organisation can quickly become a headache and certainly doesn’t yield the benefits of a cohesive approach.

If you’ve decided it’s time to unify your existing data and analytics operations, or if you’re starting the journey from scratch, there is one element that should not be overlooked: the roadmap. In this article we’ll take a look at the elements needed for building a data & analytics roadmap.

So, what exactly is a data and analytics roadmap and why do you need one?

A data and analytics roadmap is the functional blueprint which gets you from wherever you are, to the end goal. It translates the ambitions of your business strategy into a long-term action plan; driven by timelines, deadlines, milestones, and key metrics.

On a practical level, the benefits of having such a plan are fairly obvious; executing a data and analytics strategy is complex, and a clear view of the ‘what, when, and how’ keeps things coordinated. Without it, miscommunication, wasted resources and unmet goals are all too likely.

Your data and analytics roadmap not only keeps everyone on the same page regarding the practical steps; it also helps to promote a shared vision of the strategy among sponsors, team members and customers. A roadmap reduces uncertainty and helps to manage change by articulating exactly what is being done, when changes will occur, and the value that will ultimately be delivered to the business as a result.

So, let’s take a look at some key elements when building a D&A roadmap.

The essential stages of building a Data & Analytics Roadmap
1. Alignment to business strategy – identify and select your key performance areas

The first and most fundamental step when beginning this process is to outline the key performance areas (KPAs) that your roadmap will use. The areas that you identify should be contextually specific to your organisation and must always be tightly aligned to the business strategy.

Keep in mind that KPAs should be business objectives and not data and analytics goals (e.g., developing a data warehouse). Look to high-level categories, such as ‘customer base’ or ‘product development’ and let these provide the basis for key performance questions – such as, what opportunities are there for improving customer margin? What improvements are needed in order to reduce development costs?

Clarifying your business strategy allows for the final question – how can data and analytics help to achieve these goals? Your roadmap lays out these data and analytics objectives and plots a course reach them.

2. Ownership

Ownership of the data and analytics strategy and the subsequent plan needs to be understood. It needs to be owned by specific individuals, who are on the hook to deliver it. And they must have the support and sponsorship to make it happen, to ensure that key milestones are successfully hit. A data and analytics roadmap is a living plan, and it is essential that someone is responsible for monitoring progress, reviewing and reordering priorities as necessary, and communicating this to the wider team.

3. Select the right technology

Next, it’s vital to ensure that you have the right tools to meet the short, medium and long-term stages of your roadmap. Depending on your objectives these will likely relate to:

    • Data Management
    • Data Visualisation
    • Data Science

When it comes to technology there is often no need to invest heavily at the very start of the journey. It’s perfectly valid to start with small investments and prove the business value before opting to expand.

4. Culture and Skills

Platforms or technologies, especially ones that require new competencies, cannot be effectively deployed overnight. Your team’s data culture, skill sets, and levels of data literacy should all be considered in the earliest stages. A data and analytics roadmap should not only consider which tools are right for the size and shape of your organisation, but should also logically sequence any training or hiring.

5. Set up Processes to ensure Standards and Governance

A data and analytics strategy may introduce a number of new working methods and technologies into your organisation. It’s best to implement processes for standards and governance early on in your roadmap; this promotes best practices and data security across teams.

While building a roadmap can seem complicated at first glance, taking the time to consider each of these five essential stages will help to build a robust plan. Once the project begins, a well-planned roadmap will help keep things on track, provide clear metrics and milestones, and ultimately save you time and resources.

This article is in partnership with TrueCue as part of our Data-Driven SMB series. For more information, advice and resources on how to accelerate your organisation’s data and analytics maturity, click here.

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