Get to Know: Our Head of IT

The focus of our Get to Know series today is our Head of IT, Gerard Healy! With nearly 15 years of experience across a multitude of industries, Gerard leads the IT operations at Codex! He is also a valued member of The Codex Board of Management and holds multiple accreditations including ITIL and Prince2!

Here is what he has to say –

I came on-board with Codex last October as our Head of IT. It’s a really broad and fulfilling role. It holds me accountable for all aspects of IT in Codex and I represent IT on the Codex board of management too. My duties range from our customer e-procurement and electronic invoice integrations via the likes of Punchout2Go, Ariba, Science Warehouse and other tooling, to managing IT operations, vendors, budgets and our project portfolio, as well as ensuring our continued ISO 27001 certification. The breadth of the role means that each day is a new challenge. Today, for example, I’ve chaired a number of project calls, spoken with an important customer to progress our e-procurement integration, sat on a Codex board call, handled a support escalation, and now am speaking with you – all before lunch.

I try to focus the role on two key areas – value add to our wonderful team and customers alike, plus the continued evolution of our IT ecosystem to ensure that it is always enabling our team as best as possible while maintaining security, scalability, and economy. That generally requires a lot of time and effort in scoping, planning, and executing projects. This necessitates a clear vision of how we make our organisation better – how we empower our team and customers, how we add value and simplify our lives. It all centres on my ethos that perfection is an aspiration rather than a reality – things can always be better – faster, more automated, efficient, better aligned to our needs, values, and goals.

I don’t believe in perfection. I always feel that evolution can be made, sometimes even a revolution. Seeing these iterations land, seeing customer satisfaction increase through e-procurement and/or e-invoicing automation, through the successful execution and delivery of internal projects or even the rollout of new hardware or software, by automating a laborious task for a member of our team, etc. The list is truly endless. Each of these victories is hard-fought, meticulously planned, executed, tested, and delivered. It’s all very deliberate and therefore when they’re delivered, it feels earned.

I try to focus each and every task, project and initiative back to one concept – value add. If I spend a euro, in doing so, can we save two? If I’m investing our teams, our customers and partners’ resources in anything, it must return an overarching benefit to all parties.

Many years ago, I worked with a senior advisor. He had been brought on to deliver a major IT project. Over many months of working together, he imparted a lot of knowledge. He was so experienced, clued in, and generous with his time. Working with him shaped a lot of my ethos about IT. The best lesson that he shared was that there is always someone better skilled or more experienced at something than you. IT is an immensely broad industry and you simply cannot be an expert in every aspect. If you can identify your own weaknesses and strengths, and complement them with the right people, the right partners around you – you can achieve anything.

I have a few. I try to focus my efforts on the tasks that I’m best placed to do. It’s a long time since I rolled up my sleeves and fixed a PC, for example. I know that there are better people that can do that than me, people that do it each and every day. So, I try to surround myself with these people through both internal team members and vendor partners.

With my time focused on the value-add, I try to ensure that each project and task is always moving, always progressing and being closed out in a timely manner. Each morning I pull together a to-do list – a revision on yesterday with the next steps. I prioritise the list and try to get the most important done first. As I progress down the list, I cross them off and add the next step, even if it’s to check on someone’s progress. I add to the list as the day progresses and try to take continuous stock throughout the day.

Finally, I’m a big fan of the concept of a stitch-in-time. I have a series of reoccurring tasks that I use to prompt to ensure that all elements are running smoothly. Completing these tasks minimise disruptions and outages while ensuring continued security. The time spent on these tasks ensures that I’m not railroaded with an unexpected problem. A dedicated amount of time spent on these tasks ensures that all of our team can continue to operate as normal. The added benefit is that these tasks force reflection and in doing so, breathe the necessary creativity to come up with new innovations to iterate and improve every aspect of our organisation.

Honestly, I am a bit of both. Once I’ve had my morning coffee, I’m generally good to go. I spent a number of years getting up at half three/ four o’clock to get in a car to be in Cork, Galway or the airport for a red-eye to the UK. Early starts don’t phase me. Equally, I can sit in the office until 10 o’clock at night when needs must, which is thankfully not often these days. It’s nice to get home and put my little girl to bed with a story before catching up with my wife over dinner and the occasional glass of wine. The only thing that I can’t do is both early starts and late nights on the same day….not anymore at least.

Founded in by Brendan Murphy in 1979, Codex is proud to be celebrating 40+ years as an Irish family business. From our inception to this very day, we have grown to be a much bigger company – yet still share those same family values of integrity, leadership, innovation and support across our Codex team. Find out more about our story here.