Check out this interview with Gary Montgomery, CEO of Agenor Technology, a leading IT Services company based in Edinburgh with European operations located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Established in 2006, Agenor Technology has a proven track record of successfully planning and delivering complex, large-scale digital transformation and change programmes for clients safely, on time and within budget. They provide advice and delivery capability across the whole programme life-cycle, with a comprehensive range of Project Delivery, Digital Engineering and IT Service Management capabilities, which can be mobilised and deployed rapidly on demand.
Recognised as specialists in their respective fields, Gary and his team have worked for leading organisations in both long and short-term engagements across both public and private sectors including banking, asset management, manufacturing, health, local government, and education.
Where did your passion for digital come from?
I attended University to complete a Business Information Management degree which involved elements of both Project Management and Technology skills and activities. I have followed the specific PM path through my career but remained close to Technology throughout that journey in the roles that I took. Over the years I and now Agenor have worked on a large number of Programmes and Projects which have demonstrated the continuous evolution of Digital Technology and the full range of services that are now in operation across various industries.
What’s your favourite thing about the industry?
I truly enjoy seeing a solution being delivered that can demonstrably meet a client’s requirement. I also enjoy being able to understand how the changes being made affect people in the real world, whether that being through having improved Banking services that they can use, or more accessible and high-quality public services being available for areas like healthcare.
Where do you see yourself/your company in five years?
I want to see Agenor Technology continue to grow and diversify our services to existing and new
clients. I expect further evolution of the services we offer to take place over that time. From a
personal perspective I hope I can stay involved to see all of this happening.
What’s your role and what does a typical day involve?
As the CEO of the company, I am ultimately responsible for the successful operation of the company. A typical day involves several things. The first is speaking to my Leadership team to discuss anything that is relevant that needs attention. I then typically devote some time to existing client engagement, development of new sales opportunities and also continuous development of our operations, which can also involve HR considerations. There is no day that is the same, which I find enjoyable.
Looking to the future, what do you see as being the next big thing in tech?
The Digital Transformation activities that I have seen or directly been involved in have in many ways provided the building blocks for what can come next i.e., Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Machine Learning. Further development of Cloud services will also be a big focus in the coming years.
Any new products, services, events coming up for your business?
We recently revised the services that we offer to clients. Project Delivery and Testing Services were merged into Project Delivery as a Service. Digital Services were rebadged as Digital Engineering and we introduced a new service for IT Service Management. These changes were made as we continue to align to the services that we think our clients have requirements for.
In terms of events, I am very much looking forward to our next scheduled All Staff meeting. Following 3 attempts at having a face-to-face event for all staff over the last year, we now have a date confirmed for 31st of March. The opportunity to get all our staff together in a safe environment will be a significant boost to our company morale and culture.
Why did you join ScotlandIS and importantly, why are you still with us?
I believe that Scottish companies can benefit greatly from membership of the IT communities that exist such as ScotlandIS. Through these memberships we can get access to events, training, social media amplification and prospective client discussions. ScotlandIS pull together a service that would take a company like Agenor Technology a long time and which would require significant investment to try and generate the same outcomes.
What do you consider to be the biggest benefit of your ScotlandIS membership?
I think Scotland needs to have a strong voice so that Digital continues to be a priority for our Government, for our businesses, and that we have our own indigenous technology industry. We simply want to be a part of that conversation and Scotland IS leads that conversation locally. Membership of ScotlandIS means that we are part of this community and therefore benefit from the conversation that is taking place.
I also feel it is incumbent on a company like Agenor Technology to be part of such a community, as I feel it demonstrates a level of maturity and our desire to engage and collaborate.
If you could give one piece of advice to an emerging business/startup, what would it be?
I would recommend having bold ambitions for the services you want to sell, but to structure your business in a way that can deal with both growth and contraction. Having a close control on Revenue, Costs and Profit is key to ensuring your company can continue to operate and remain profitable, and therefore weather the various challenges that come along. Focus on the staff within the company, form positive relationships with them and value their contribution.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
First and foremost, I love being part of a Scottish company that provides employment opportunities to people within the industry. Linked to that I particularly enjoy seeing young graduates and entry level staff progressing their career and moving through their role families into more advanced and senior positions as they gain experience. Most of the people who work for Agenor Technology have been with us for several years, many of whom started at that entry level.
I also enjoy the flexibility of being able to manage my own calendar, focusing each day on what I
believe the priorities for that day will be.
If you were speaking to a classroom full of 3rd year high school students, how would you pitch the
industry as the best place to be?
I strongly believe that a career in Technology can be a job for life. As the industry evolves and develops young people will see a progression in their career which happened at a lot slower rate for previous generations. Being part of this will provide fantastic roles and opportunities for young people. Knowledge of Digital will be integral to that.
I also believe the world is continuing to get smaller. Technology is an industry probably more than any other which offers the opportunity to work with people from other cultures. It can also offer the opportunity for people to get roles in other countries if that is what someone aspires to do.