20 FEB 2020

CITP success for Michael Massingham

We are delighted to announce that Michael Massingham, our IT Manager based in London, has achieved his Chartership with The British Computer Society (CITP).

Michael has worked hard to earn this success, utilising the experience he has gained at Systech to provide a successful case for his professional recognition. We asked Michael some questions about life at Systech and the process for gaining his CITP and here is what he had to say:

How long have you been with Systech?

I joined Systech in September 2005, so 14 years

What does your typical working day involve?

No two days are the same and because there are only two of us in the IT team I get involved with a large variety of tasks. Most days involve user support and this can range from simple password resets, fixing laptop problems, guidance on software and Systech’s application, to complete laptop rebuilds and data recovery. I spend the rest of my time on system maintenance, supporting the Systech site diary app, the IT roadmap and other tasks from senior management. The IT roadmap sets out the future IT strategy along with projects and contract renewals. The roadmap gets put together at the start of each year then gets discussed and signed off at the board meeting prior to the new financial year in April.

What aspects of your role do you find most interesting?

I love solving problems and learning about new technologies. Helping our staff solve issues and recover from disasters gives me job satisfaction. I also enjoy working with senior management to look at overall strategy and work on improving efficiencies within the business.

What aspects of the role do you find most challenging?

My biggest challenge is the small IT team. I am often pulled into support calls or given tasks that can take a long time, so it is difficult to dedicate time to the IT roadmap and systems maintenance.

What was the process for gaining your Chartership?

The British Computer Society (BCS) introduced their CITP (Chartered IT Professional) qualification about 10 years ago to bring recognition and professionalism to the IT industry. The first part of the process was submitting my CV and 2000 character responses to 5 topics, autonomy, influence, complexity of work, business skills and breadth of knowledge. This application requires two supporters, in my case Geoff Ansell and Nick Milicich (our ex-International IT Manager). This application is reviewed and the next stage is an hour long interview with an assessment panel. This interview was conducted over the internet and involved a 10 minute presentation from myself, then questions from the panel.

Were there any particular IT projects or aspects of your role at Systech that contributed to your application for Chartership?

My work on improving Systech security has been and will continue to be a major part of my role along with setting the IT roadmap, both of which were referenced in the application. Demonstrating that I had developed from being in a reactive supporting role to a more proactive member of management was a key aspect to the application.

Was there an interview process you had to go through and if so, were there any difficult questions you faced?

Yes after the 10 minute presentation the two assessor quizzed me on a variety of topics. The presentation focused on projects I have been involved with which demonstrated competence in the 5 topics. The questions around current security legislation and IT frameworks were the most difficult to answer. Whilst I was using common sense and my own approach, they have pointed me to resources which will help to guide me in these areas going forward.

What major changes have there been with IT at Systech since you joined the company?

When I joined Systech we had a much smaller workforce and ran all our applications, including email on 2 servers which were in the accounts archive room. We now have almost doubled the number of people in the company and have a global presence which means we work 24/7 and are becoming more mobile. Technology has changed so rapidly in the last 10 years that we are fundamentally working in a different way, meaning the systems have had to adapt. Some of the major changes were moving our email into the cloud and rearchitecting our server infrastructure to move it to a virtualised environment. Systech has also released a record keeping system, the Site Diary App, which is being used by our clients on over 50 projects. The Site Diary App allows users to answer a set of questions each day via a mobile app or website and attach photos. The answers are consolidated and sent out to a distribution list via email, each morning. Our consultants are consistently faced with poor site records which makes submitting or defending claims more difficult. The Site Diary App aims to makes daily site records easy and centralise the data into a database, which can be used for reporting or providing photographic evidence.

What’s next for IT at Systech?

The focus for 2020 is improving the way we access our systems and information within the business; this will involve moving some systems to a cloud environment and changing the way we access our systems. Security is at the forefront of any change we make but is balanced with being able to access the systems easily, from any device and in any location. I am also working with our internal development team to upgrade and add new features to the Systech Site Diary App, which should be ready in the coming months and will future proof the system.

What are your predictions for IT by 2030 and how may this have an impact on work at Systech?

With our services moved to the cloud we will be able to leverage new technology quickly, so it will be an exciting time. I predict that artificial intelligence and machine learning will automate much of the mundane processes that we are currently carrying out, allowing us to focus on other more innovative tasks. I also predict an even more mobile work culture with working from home becoming regular and normal, meaning our systems need to adapt and allow for effective collaboration.

At Systech we encourage our staff to develop their careers, including study for further qualifications and professional memberships, offering support through mentoring and hands-on diverse experience on major projects. We are delighted for Michael and look forward to him continuing to develop his career and supporting the company with IT.

To find out more about opportunities at Systech, please click here.

The British Computer Society website: https://www.bcs.org/