E33 - Denis Crowley at eCom Solutions

Zack Mount
Denis Crowley

By Zack Mount & Denis Crowley

On today’s episode, Head of Network Security, Zack Mount sat down with Denis Crowley, the Head of Operations at eCom Solutions. Denis discusses why he chose to go into a leadership role and some of the daily challenges he is facing now.

In a management role, the first thing Denis brings to the table is a strong sense of direction, it’s crucial that everyone knows what their goals are and where they can contribute. When Denis first started working as a technical consultant, he found that the management was all over the place, wasting his time learning new skill sets and having no sense of clear direction. It was at this point he took a leap into management and has never looked back. He thrives working on the leadership side, alongside technical teams and getting things done.

He decided to choose a leadership role over a technical position because he discovered there was only so much he could do on the technical side. He started off in development and went down the networking and infrastructure route but was ready for a change at that point.

Now in his current position as the Head of Operations at eCom, they operate high-level, technical security for big organisations. Denis gets a real sense of satisfaction getting huge projects done with them. It comes with its challenges but at the end of the day they are not dealing with people who are just passing through the business, they are interested in what they are doing, and it makes life a lot more interesting.

Going from a large organisation like BT to a smaller company like eCom, he found there was not a huge difference, but the impact is much bigger at a smaller company. With a smaller business, there is a lot of personality-based motivation which sometimes gets lost in the bigger companies.

Some of the daily challenges he is facing currently is trying to give that top service to the customer all the time. Having the correct amount of people at the back end to support the customer to make a profit for the business. It is not always easy as life gets in the way and inevitably there are going to be people who are off ill etc. so ensuring that they are doing it in a financially correct way all the time, is something he has to consider every day.

One thing he wishes he knew before entering the industry is the technical side of things. Nobody prepares you for the never-ending list of qualifications that constantly need updating and he finds this a burden. There is an abundance of qualifications needed, Denis thinks too many. With the qualifications, there come copious amounts of studying. If he had to do it all over again, he would try and avoid all the qualifications that weren’t heavily practical, which would’ve essentially saved him a lot of time and money.

Regarding certifications, when hiring, Denis thinks certifications are nice to have, but they do not paint the whole picture of a potential candidate. They can show a person’s level of interest in what they are doing and demonstrate that they know a level of technology. However, these things alone do not define the person.

There is a strong narrative around the work-life balance in the industry and Denis has found that due to the nature of the beast, a lot of work needs to be completed after hours so it can be tricky. He also recognises that often, the only time somebody in the industry is noticed is when there is a problem so it can be an incredibly stressful position and people need to start checking in on themselves a lot more.

Denis gives his best tips to anybody looking to get started in the industry, make sure you give this episode a listen!