Brad Clish, Virtual CIO at Doherty Associates, experts in managing and securing cloud services and a Microsoft Gold Partner, picks the work tools he uses every day and couldn’t do his job without
1 iPhone XS Max
My day starts as soon as I’m awoken by the now infamous and familiar ‘siren’ sound from my iPhone. Without this, I would likely not wake, and the cascading domino effect of starting my day without a freshly brewed, expertly crafted (by yours truly), temperature perfect (https://ember.com) cup of java would be catastrophic.
Like many tech-savvy executives, the use of a smartphone has drastically changed not only how and where I work, but also when. My iPhone is often my go-to device in the first instance; it’s always there and allows me to fully leverage all of Microsoft’s technologies in a single pocketable device – light years ahead of what my first cell phone was capable of all those years ago.
As I enjoy my morning coffee, my iPhone updates me on any developments that have occurred during the night. Doherty Associates operates a fully managed 24/7 support team and our out-of-hours team based in Kuala Lumpur updates the London and UK satellite offices by means of a daily briefing. This briefing, aptly named a Digest, contains a high-level list of everything the organisation needs to be made aware of immediately, and it is at this point that any further action or requirements can be made where necessary.
2 Microsoft OneNote
In the transition to all things digital, I have never once regretted that we no longer take notes the way we used to. I accepted and embraced the transition, adapting my meetings to use OneNote from a very early stage. Today, all of my vCIO and QBR meetings for SmartPath are booked and managed using Outlook. But the magic really happens in OneNote, which I use throughout these meetings, as well as for review and follow-ups later on. The ability to search for content on any device I own is by far the most useful aspect of the product. It also lets me review notes taken months ago without the need for paper notes. A godsend, and better still, environmentally sound.
3 Microsoft Teams
Doherty Associates has an extensive technical team, stretched not just across the UK, but around the globe. As with any multinational organisation, communication is key to the business services we offer. Teams plays a crucial role in this, weaving itself into the fabric of Office 365. Being connected to OneNote and SharePoint and bound to Skype for Business results in a simple product built to harness the power of cloud computing. Teams allows me to share my notes with engineers and invite them to comment in real time, with supporting links and SharePoint documents for review by all, so that ideas can be bounced around on the fly as a solution is formed. In a world where everyone works remotely, Teams makes possible those five-minute conversations you used to have when heading to the canteen to brew another cup of hot java.
4 Microsoft SharePoint
Travel takes up a significant amount of my time, whether between customers in different continents or just between the North and South of England – the similarity is the time it can take. How productive I can be when travelling has changed greatly of late, and while SharePoint forms an important part of the picture, it is by no means the only component.
Doherty Associates was very much an early adopter of Microsoft’s cloud computing stack, moving the entire organisation into that environment from an early stage. This made sense – Terry Doherty, our MD and founder, used to say that if we didn’t truly embrace the future of remote working, how could we be expected to not just to sell it but support it as well. As a result, the business has grown in ways that would have been inconceivable before. We rode a wave of change with Terry as Poseidon himself.
Being connected to the office at all times is a given and, thankfully, everywhere I go I’m able to connect to every resource the business has. For instance, as part of SmartPath, we conduct quarterly vulnerability scans of our customers’ estates. These reports can be hundreds of pages long. They’re not something I would ever consider printing – for environmental reasons and because of the data risk of doing so. Instead, they reside on SharePoint, with numerous layers of protection in place at all times.
This gives customers further reassurance about our commitment to their security, as they can visually observe me using MFA to log in on my Mac to run through their individual reports.
In all, Microsoft has developed something akin to a set of Infinity Stones. Individually they’re certainly powerful, but combined and working together the results they generate are truly infinite. Who knows just where this end game will take us? I, for one, am certainly proud to be riding this with my own A-team here at Doherty Associates.