Established entrepreneurs within the ICT sector have confirmed that in order to sustain a business and remain competitive within the technology services market, any sized venture has to be agile, has to possess skills sets and must have access to all necessary resources. These are not ‘nice-to-haves’, rather they are prerequisites to effective operations.

This is the view of executive leadership at Integr8, the operator of the only South African based Nerve Centre®, a hub of technology, skill and processes that is used to support and regulate the ICT environment of many of the country’s leading organisations

Robert Sussman and Lance Fanaroff, joint CEOs of the ICT managed services provider underline the importance of agility or the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment by deflecting problems and leveraging off opportunities. “This does require some degree of market experience, but if the business model is intrinsically agile, it will help the business to move quickly when necessary and avoid common pitfalls,” says Sussman.

Agility is also measured by response to- and application of innovation. Integr8’s rationale and experience is that the more focus there is on the business value of innovation, the more value is channelled through to clients, partners and customers. “A business can consider innovation from a distance, or they can seriously review the feasibility of integration to suit business requirements and ways to enhance operations,” Sussman continues.

This will have a direct impact on client services and relationship building with target markets.

While agility is open to interpretation and largely subjective, the issue of establishing a firm skills base is non-negotiable.

To establish a powerful, sustainable and relevant business, it is important to secure the services of the right calibre of people. Companies competing in the ICT managed services space must invest in its intellectual capability, particularly technical skills sets, and develop this capability to strengthen the brand.

Integr8 has secured access to 7,000 high skilled personnel across the BCX Group. Skilled employees are considered an important, strategic resource and their development impacts on the growth of any sized venture.

“Ongoing development of the Human Resource and the impact of technology within this business discipline should always be at the top of the list of priorities for the CEO,” claims Sussman.

The company can substantiate the claim. Since its inception in March 2001, management has placed a premium on recruiting and retaining the very best minds in the business. They have emphasised not only the importance of bringing in expertise and enriching the company’s skills pool, but also implementing measures to consistently strengthen the HR component of the business.

These measures are designed to empower individuals, to drive passion and commitment, but also establish an environment of loyalty and dedication. Initiatives include contribution to the company’s ongoing social responsibility programme, opportunities to contribute towards brand-building and marketing initiatives, regular team-building activities, amongst others.

“We regularly invest in the wellbeing of our employees, but more than that, our philosophy is to instil a sense of ownership, of accountability and pride within the business. A job is a job… but working for Integr8 is about establishing one’s career,” explains Fanaroff.

Whilst sceptics may scoff at the plausibility of any company being able to foster this type of environment, in the case of Integr8 the model has been established and sustained.

The company’s leadership style is motivational, approachable and passionate – very much in line with the traits management expect from every employee. Integr8 strongly encourages each and every member of the Integr8 team to believe in themselves and their ideas, to be tenacious and determined.

“These are the key ingredients to making it big in this industry and in this company,” says Sussman. “But be prepared to work hard and remain committed – the rewards will be well worth it!”