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The Team at Laudale

Women in Tech: Can Manchester rival Silicon Valley?

We have partnered with Greater Manchester Business Week to showcase the women in Greater Manchester blazing a trail and putting Greater Manchester’s technology sector on the map.

The final feature in our series asks female tech leaders how Manchester can cement its position on the global tech stage.

There has been much speculation over whether Manchester could become the UK’s next Silicone Valley.In December 2016, Manchester made its debut appearance in Europe’s top 20 list for digital innovation.

The city is now given the same kudos as London when the UK’s tech scene is discussed in global tech communities but what can be done to further accelerate its digital growth?

Read the full article here 

How leading firms are grasping change to succeed

We have partnered with Greater Manchester Business Week to showcase the women in Greater Manchester blazing a trail and putting Greater Manchester’s technology sector on the map.

The second of our women in technology series highlights how digitalisation has set local businesses on a journey of reinvention…

Digitalisation has transformed our society. The ubiquitous use of mobile devices, the internet and social media has forever changed the way we live, shop and work.

In business, this has led tech start-ups to disrupt industry after industry, offering smarter and more agile alternatives to traditional models of working.

Read the full article here

Download the full  feature and list of ‘women in technology’ here

Digital transformation and the technology executive

Alec Laurie

Alec Laurie

The second feature in our Women in Tech series with Greater Manchester Business Week focuses on businesses who have undergone or are on a journey of digital transformation and the women who are leading their charge. 

Download the full  feature and list of ‘women in technology’
featuring AutoTrader, Hiring Hub, N Brown Group and more here

Laudale Managing Director Alec Laurie shares his view on digital transformation and its impact on the technology executive.

The majority of organisations we work with now view themselves as heavily digitally enabled.  As ‘digital’ is such a broadly encompassing term, this enablement means different things to different businesses – improved customer channels, increased efficiencies through cloud infrastructure, a mobile-enabled workforce, etc.

Whatever the strategic objective, we frequently hear clients across all industries say something along the lines of “we aim to be a tech company first” or “we now resemble a platform business”.  This ‘new’ reality impacts skills from entry to exec level.

Whilst the technology leader’s skill-set has always adapted with key trends, the sheer pace of modern business means there’s been a more stark shift in the demands of the role in recent times.

Traditional IT operating models are transforming, tech start-ups and corporates are creating innovative partnerships, ‘other’ functional leaders are more tech savvy than ever, and in many cases ‘digital’ is now revenue generating.  Furthermore, data and security are firmly on the board’s agenda.

This means that relationship building, collaboration, influence, commercial skills, negotiation, and vendor management skills (for example), are now core for the CIO, CDO and CTO.  Whilst these ingredients are hardly new, many have shifted from nice-to-have ‘soft’ skills to fundamental tools for the modern technology executive.

We greet this with optimism – against a back-drop of rising artificial intelligence and automation, the demand for ‘human’ skills is not going away.

 You may also like:

Gender equality is a business issue not a women’s issue.

Why are there so few women in tech?

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Talk to us @LaudaleHQ

You know it’s important but how well are you really utilising your professional network?

Technology leaders have demanding jobs and as a result time will always be at a premium. Investing properly in professional networking can easily slip off the list of priorities, but it shouldn’t.

If you’re looking to improve your networking efforts and utilise the contacts that you’ve got as effectively as possible, the first question you may ask is what constitutes a strong professional network? We would define it as a group of personal contacts you can freely call on to provide support, feedback, insight, resources, and information. The immense value in having quick access to these capabilities should be instantly recognisable but building this capacity takes time, effort and requires regular investment. Here Laudale’s Executive Search Consultant Jonathan Basnett provides three useful tips for investing in and improving your professional networking efforts and the issues which may arise if you don’t.

Network thoroughly in your own organisation

This sounds obvious but ask yourself honestly how well you have done it? Building meaningful cross function relationships isn’t easy. People are busy and naturally focus on their own domains. Many technology leaders are looking to break down silo’s in their department but how many are helping do this in the wider business? Having relationships with colleagues, not just your peer group, in other departments will make it easier for you to acquire information and get things done quickly. True business collaboration opens up more opportunity for internal innovation avenues to drive change and technology can be the spearhead of this. So, if you haven’t already, start making dedicated time for professional networking in your own business.

Networking for your career

Career networking should not be reserved purely for those in interim or contract leadership roles. We find that a number of technology executives with a long tenure in a role under-invest in their career network and suffer when they need to look for their next opportunity. Its advantageous to maintain a good understanding of the job market in your domain. A good way to do this is staying in touch with former colleagues and people in your community. Investing time in identifying trusted advisors that can give you insight, advice and make introductions to the right people is a powerful way to boost your career networking opportunities.

Networking with suppliers

Having healthy vendor relationships can yield serious advantages. Suppliers can also be important sources of information, helping you evaluate the potential of new products, track competitors’ actions and uncover new opportunities. Vendors can turn into partners, helping you cut costs and improve products or capabilities. If you don’t prioritise networking with suppliers, you’re likely to regret it, given technology moves at such a pace there is no room for insularity in modern enterprise. Networking closely with your existing suppliers will build relationships that will allow you to understand if you are getting the best service at the right price. Keeping them at arms-length actively prevents this. With technology becoming more and more central to core business operation it’s the technology executives’ duty to keep abreast of the latest developments and networking effectively with suppliers is a quick and easy way to do this.

How do you make the most of your network?

Talk to us @LaudaleHQ 

Facebook continues to expand job functionality but can it steal LinkedIn’s crown?

Back in November 2017 we watched with interest as Facebook announced it was trialing CV functionality and now it seems the social networking giant is continuing its approach into the online job space.

Last week (1st March 2018) saw the announcement that Facebook is rolling out job post functionality to users in forty more countries, it’s a move which means businesses will be able to post job openings to a jobs tab on their page, jobs dashboard, the Facebook marketplace and on their news feed which they can also promote through the use of ads. For candidates it means a seamless approach to applications simply submitting through their Facebook profile, editing within the platform and using Messenger to communicate – it’s a great development for hiring managers, recruiters and candidates alike but does it represent a further encroach on LinkedIn’s space?

What do we think? Well yes, it does but perhaps not in such a direct way as you would think.  And the proposition – at least initially – is likely to be more appealing to a younger audience. We’re sure somewhere in Zuckerberg’s masterplan is the desire to conquer the jobs market, it’s a natural extension of the business services Facebook already offers and it’s something which if achieved gives Facebook a renewed purpose in people’s lives, particularly those who are eschewing it for other platforms in personal use or simply just quitting it altogether.

And that’s really where Facebook has the opportunity to encroach on LinkedIn’s’ territory; by offering value across the job seeking space as, while LinkedIn ‘for now’ has the stronghold on the professional market, there’s a whole host of job seekers who won’t use LinkedIn which Facebook can tap into.  Therefore, if Facebook connects (particularly SME) businesses with local candidates – and does this well – there could be a gateway into the more lucrative professional market.

What’s your view? Could Facebook ever take over LinkedIn in the jobs space?

Talk to us @LaudaleHQ

Gender equality is a business issue, not a women’s issue.

As part of International Women’s Day and our ongoing commitment to promoting ‘Women In Tech’  Laudale has partnered with Greater Manchester Business Week to produce a list of 30 women contributing to and representing the tech sector in Greater Manchester. 

Laudale Managing Director Alec Laurie shares his view: 

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to see an excellent talk on gender equality by Vivian Hunt from McKinsey, which included a quote that has stuck with me since:

“The fastest way to change society is to mobilise the women of the world” (Charles Malik)

It’s 2018 and the pace of change across society and business is faster than it’s ever been. And, whilst there’s still a long way to go, there are signs that the gender equality business case has momentum like never before.

People have argued for years that gender equality is a commercial issue, not a women’s issue. But should it ever have been ‘an argument’? Especially when you consider that the UK’s GDP could increase by over £444bn by 2025 through improved gender equality alone.

Technology as both a function and an industry has always been particularly imbalanced. Depending on which stats you read, women occupy as few as 15% of roles at the upper end of the career ladder. Anecdotally, we can tell you that in many cases 15% is being kind.

Here in Greater Manchester we’re ahead of the curve and, as you’ll read, home to genuinely world-class technology practitioners, leaders and business owners who happen to be women. It was an honour being part of the team that curated this list and a privilege spending time with the talented professionals we celebrate in it.

I hope that not only will you enjoy the content but you’ll be inspired to #PressforProgress on International Women’s Day and throughout the year.

You may also like:

Why are there so few women in tech?

Who are the top women in tech?

Talk to us @LaudaleHQ

The Women Leading The Way in Tech: in partnership with Greater Manchester Business Week

As part of International Women’s Day and our ongoing commitment to promoting and representing Women in Technology, we have partnered with Greater Manchester Business Week to showcase the women in Greater Manchester who are leading the way, blazing a trail and putting Greater Manchester’s technology sector on the map.

It’s an exciting and rapidly evolving industry that is urgently in need of more diverse talent, yet just 17 per cent of UK tech workers are female.

In a bid to bridge the gender gap, the Tech Talent Charter was created last year, expressly to encourage diversity in the digital industry.Signatory companies have committed to including women on interview shortlists, among other wide-ranging measures.

Yet a recent Tech City UK report –based on a poll of 1,000 young people and 80,000 Reddit posts – reveals that only 13 per cent of females have a desire to work in the sector.

Read the full article here

Who are the top women in tech in Greater Manchester, read the list here




Laudale Reads: Our monthly book recommendation for March

Every month we’ll be recommending a book for you to get your teeth into. This month we’ve been reading Platform Revolution by by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne and Sangeet Paul Choudary.

Here’s a synopsis to whet your appetite

Facebook, PayPal, Alibaba, Uber-these seemingly disparate companies have upended entire industries by harnessing a single phenomenon: the platform business model. Platform Revolution delivers the first comprehensive analysis of how platforms use technology to match producers and consumers in a multisided marketplace, unlocking hidden resources and creating new forms of value.

When a company like Uber connects drivers with passengers, everybody wins- except traditional taxi companies, which are scrambling to survive. Assumptions about operations, finance, strategy and innovation all change. Platform Revolution explores the what, how and why of this revolution and provides the first “owner’s manual” for creating a platform marketplace.

Revealing the strategies behind some of today’s rising platforms, the authors explain how entrepreneurs-and traditional companies- can thrive in this new world. In cases as diverse as shoes, spices, dating, energy, home appliances and education, Platform Revolution provides the essential guide to unlocking the potential of an economic landscape transformed.

Read reviews and get your copy on www.amazon.co.uk 

Why Manchester adds up for tech talent

In the past couple of weeks Manchester has just been ranked as the 2nd best city to work in and one of the top ten most exciting cities in the world – news which comes as no surprise to proud Mancunians already living and working here but with one of the hottest jobs cited to be Data Scientist in a Glassdoor survey, it seems Manchester is tops for tech talent too.  

With the fourth largest tech cluster in the UK and over 168,000 tech workers already in the city, it’s not a surprise to see the popularity and availability of tech roles rising but with 1.4 vacancies for every 1 tech employee in Manchester the need to attract more talent is still very real.  

2017’s Tech Nation report has the average salary for digital and tech jobs at £50,663 a year, 44% more than non-tech workers but what does it mean for your pocket if you’re choosing Manchester? we’ve delved a little deeper…

How does this compare to the competition? 

Yes, we’re talking about London of course, a developer can expect to earn around £75,000 based in London versus £55,000 in Manchester, quite a difference but they can also expect to pay over £2,000 to rent in London versus £950.00 in Manchester. You don’t need to be Professor Stephen Hawking to work out that rent cost has pretty much wiped out the salary differential and more. If travel to work is required that’s going to be £139.00 in London or you can be on your way for £58.70 in Manchester and when the working day is done you’ll pay 30% more in London than in Manchester for your evening’s entertainment– suddenly that Manchester salary is looking pretty attractive.  

There is no doubt Manchester is a world-class city and it’s one where tech is growing despite the need for more tech workers. Despite talent challenges the industry is growing four times faster than any other sector and there are some fantastic opportunities to grow tech careers in the city with competitive salaries.  

As Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown said the only thing we don’t have is a beach – but with the great cost of living here there’ll be plenty in your pocket for a trip to the coast whenever you feel like it… 





What’s your view?

Talk to us @LaudaleHQ





Considering an interim career? Advice from those who took the leap… 

Leaving the familiarity and security of a permanent role to enter the world of interim management isn’t an easy decision to make.

It requires real consideration of your portfolio of skills and how you can best pitch these to potential clients and once you’re certain on what your specialist offering is you’ll need to be committed to continuously maintaining it.  

Contract work is not like the world of permanent employment and the business you’ll be working with isn’t making a long-term investment in you, therefore you’ll need the skills and expertise to hit the ground running – contractors are largely hired to fix problems and provide solutions.  

So you need to be sure of your offering and your client’s needs but it’s also a move which can see you reap the benefits, handling your own clients, your own pay, taking control of your work/life balance and the ultimate reward of challenging and varied work.  

We spoke to some of our Interim consultant community about their experiences of taking the leap from permanent IT and business change careers to contract and what advice they’d give to those considering making the move… 

Steve, Programme Director  

“I’ve been able to maintain my delivery focus, but now operate slightly to one side of internal politics, which is helpful because I can focus purely on the job at hand and don’t have one eye on what delivery means for my career in the company.  It’s human nature to want to protect or enhance your own status first and foremost, so as a permanent person delivering high stakes programmes, you naturally start to wonder ‘where will this leave me?’.  In my experience, it benefits the programme, and ultimately the business, if this complexity is removed, and this is what an independent consultant brings.” 

Kate, Head of IT Service Management 

“There is greater administration to handle as a business owner which many people may not necessarily think about when making the move, it can often be about the project or the challenge of the work but once you’ve chosen to step away from permanent employment you are essentially managing your own business and all the responsibilities which go with that from obligations to HMRC, to finding reliable professional advisors – accountants, solicitors, insurance to the day to day stuff of how you invoice your client” 

Kevin, Digital Delivery Lead 

“There’s a real need to be patient when entering the world of interim management, there’s usually a reason why you decided to step away from permanent in the first place, in my case a juicy project I couldn’t resist but it’s important to realise that when that project is complete, the next gig might not come along immediately.  There’s a risk involved with that which anyone considering going out on their own needs to think carefully about, this can be balanced of course by being smart about your day rate and not selling yourself short when you do work projects – having a good accountant will help too!” 

Graham, Chief Architect 

“I’d say to anyone thinking about moving to interim or contract work that you really need to be on the front foot and ‘out there’ looking for opportunities. You’re no longer looking for a ‘job’, you’re now a professional independent consultant managing a portfolio career, so networking effectively and with the right people becomes very important.” 

If you do decide to make the leap you won’t be alone over 14m people in the UK are ‘self- employed’  or part of the gig economy with 32% of that figure being contractors and in a survey from McKinsey 97% of respondents were happier than those classed as employees citing opportunities for development, flexibility, assignments undertaken and the ability to express creativity as the reasons for such satisfaction. 

The facts speak for themselves, contractors make up a big part of the UK employment market and it’s a route more and more professionals are opting for. If you’re considering the change Laudale can advise further on the steps to take to ensure your move is a successful one.


Talk to us hello@laudale.com