AiThority Interview with Adrian Leer, Managing Director – Triad Group Plc
Hi, Adrian. Tell us about your journey in technology and how you started at Triad.
I was the fortunate kid at my company to receive the first Apricot Xen computer and was asked to see what I could do with it. This led me into the world of programming and I actually managed to win a National award at an early stage of my career for an international rights system I developed.
I soon realized I was very interested in the business benefits associated with technology and my career went down the business analysis route. I had a brief stint as a Software Quality Manager which helped me understand the broader engineering aspects of development and then moved into technology leadership roles.
Fast forward to 2009 and my experience of driving out map-based software solutions with Avon Products gave me the perfect qualifications to help Triad develop their own geospatial solution.
You come from a diverse and solid background in leading diverse IT and Cloud companies. How does experience in your previous roles help to manage operations at Triad Group?
The breadth of experience with previous companies has really helped me to develop empathy with Triad clients and to share that perspective with colleagues at Triad.
In several roles, I developed an understanding as a client of the way suppliers like Triad serviced our needs and this remains central to my thinking about how we delight our own customers.
Tell us about your recent collaboration with Stratis. How does it influence Blockchain adoption in an enterprise setup?
Stratis always struck me as being a bit different. Similar to my first engagement with Triad, where it was all about bringing interactive maps to the masses, Stratis has this vision of making Blockchain far more accessible to the enterprise. They recognize the value of utilizing existing skillsets within the enterprise and have helped to demystify some of the complexities associated with blockchain.
Their determined belief that blockchain can create enterprise-level benefits really chimes with Triad’s philosophy around generating returns for clients who invest in technology.
What are your predictions on the future of Blockchain, Cybersecurity On-premise Security Platforms in 2020-2024? Where do you see the hiring trends evolve in the next 2-3 years?
At the end of last year, we ran a 2020 tech trends survey and asked the people working in technology what they expected to shape the next decade. When it came to Blockchain there appears to be a phenomenon not witnessed elsewhere.
The usual trend tends to be the larger the IT department the more emerging tech is predicted to grow and the less uncertainty expressed. But Blockchain bucks the trend as can be seen in the chart below.
Here for Blockchain larger departments are most likely to cast an uncertain vote rather than state clearly how they see the trend going.
On the other hand, the smaller departments have much higher confidence that blockchain will take on greater significance as the decade progresses.
When we asked what were the most important developments of the last ten years, Blockchain appeared as the sixth most mentioned.
It is also still very early days as our research found over half (53%) of commercial companies’ IT departments are yet to dabble in Blockchain, and over two-thirds of the public sector (68%) and third sector (70%) are still watching from the side-lines.
Three-quarters (76%) of the fully realized projects came from the smallest IT departments.
Given that only 11 companies were involved it’s quite possible our data is skewed by a few smaller IT departments with a heavy Bitcoin obsession. But, it’s just as likely that innovation can thrive in smaller departments and projects reach fruition quicker.
More About your Company
What is Triad and how does it fit into a modern Cloud IT landscape?
Triad defines, designs and delivers digital solutions for companies in the public, private and third sectors. We quickly deliver specialist teams ranging from one to a hundred consultants. We are also a Google accredited Cloud partner.
Within a decade of its origin, Blockchain already seems to be an archaic word today. What are the major disruptions you foresee in this industry, especially with the IT market in mind?
Again, in our 2020 tech trends research the clear winner in terms of the technology that the participants feel will be the most significant in the next decade is AI.
Almost every industry is heavily disrupted by Big Data, AI, Blockchain, and Predictive Intelligence technologies. What kind of future are you building with your AI and ML products?
We have established an Intelligent Automation practice that focuses on driving out the value within an enterprise through reducing costs, simplifying processes and driving increased capacity.
Do you discuss IT challenges with your CIO and CTO? How do these discussions help to make Triad Group meet challenges better?
We don’t have a CTO or CIO, rather we run an Innovation Hub which harvests the best thoughts from a cross-section of the finest minds within Triad. The hub has sponsored our interest in both Blockchain and Intelligent Automation.
What is your opinion on “Weaponization of AI and Machine Learning”? How do you promote your ideas in the modern digital economy?
Anything can be “weaponized” – social media is a clear example of this. Needless to say, Triad’s interests are simply in creating value for our clients whether that is by making them more competitive, more efficient, and/or more profitable.
The Crystal Gaze
What digital technology start-ups and labs are you keenly following?
My personal preference is to follow companies in the post-start-up phase, particularly disruptors. Favorites include Starling bank and Uber. Both organizations, in very different ways, have challenged the orthodoxy of their industry in a way that has made their sectors stand up and take notice.
Whilst Uber may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no denying the effect they have had on their sector and the customer’s experience.
What other emerging technologies within your industry are you interested in?
We have really moved the needle at Triad when it comes to engineering excellence. We have shown clients how to increase their speed to market and reduce their cycle costs through the introduction of Smart Engineering and Automation techniques.
Ongoing improvements in this area have a direct connection to the effectiveness of organizations and this really appeals to me.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Adrian! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Adrian Leer is Managing Director and Executive Director at Triad Group Plc and Commercial Director at Triad Consulting & Solutions.
Mr. Leer previously was General Manager for Zubed Geospatial Ltd. He received an MBA from The Open University.
Triad Group Plc defines, designs and delivers digital solutions, working alongside customers to understand their businesses and technology challenges. Drawing on 30 years’ experience in the toughest of environments to identify the right solutions, we have a track record of success that spans the public, private and third sectors. Triad has the skills, commitment and people to achieve digital transformation within all budgets and timescales.
Triad has long held approved supplier status on a range of UK Government procurement frameworks with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) including the Data and Application (DAS) and the G-Cloud 11 frameworks. As a digital application development specialist, Triad also holds five Gold Microsoft competencies and is a Google Cloud Partner.
Triad Group Plc (TRD) has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1996.