As the leader behind Impact’s Managed IT and Cloud Services department, Patrick Layton not only oversees a rapidly growing team, but must keep a pulse on the constantly changing, trending topics in the IT industry. In this video, he discusses the role of an IT executive within a managed services company, and the challenges that come with an expanding team spread across multiple locations. He’ll also provide some insight to some of the main concerns companies are facing in an increasingly connected, technologically advanced business world.
About Expert Talk
This thought leadership series features different managers and executives across Impact, who provide insights into their roles, departments and respective industries.
This video features Patrick Layton, Vice President of Managed IT Services in Lake Forest, IL.
Enjoy the rest of the Expert Talk video series.
My name is Patrick Layton. I am the Vice President of Managed IT Services.
What does a typical day at Impact look like for you?
A typical day, no such thing for me. That’s the beauty of the job, that’s why I like it so much. I spend a lot of time with my directors. We have our team split up into six different divisions, so I spend a lot of time working with my directors on their business plans and initiatives and making sure they’re meeting the timelines and directives we set collectively.
But again, I don’t have a typical day. I still am in the field even, and I like that part. I like it, to sell and to talk about what we do and how we do it. Unfortunately, my calendar doesn’t allow for it very often.
What were 2019’s trending topics? What do you think will be 2020’s?
2017, 2018, 2019 was still cloud. I think the end of 2019 started to really open people’s eyes about security. You can no longer look at security as a nice-to-have. “Hey we need to fix IT operations so security or advance security would be nice to have.” I believe that any managed service provider that’s not offering advanced security services and very soon just making it part of their core stack, I don’t think they’re going to exist.
I think that advanced security is going to become common place, it’s going to become the day-to-day way that you operate a network because if you don’t do that, the networks won’t operate. The criminals are getting that much more smart. They have the same technology we have at their resources. You no longer have to be a mastermind hacker with the hood up, sitting there coding away. You can go to a website and download some tools and scan a network and find your way in and cause real damage. I think security is probably #1.
What challenges do you encounter managing a rapidly growing IT team?
I think the biggest challenge at Impact with how our growth is, is logistics. We operate out of 18 locations now. We have a west coast that doesn’t have the luxury of falling back on the other Midwest-based teams. They can for remote support, but if they need on-site support, they kind of just need to figure out how to make that work. As we grow the west coast and we add more branches, that’ll become easier. Logistics is probably the biggest challenge to overcome.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
Goals for 2020 is to continue to grow and through that we’re focused on our employees’ career path, employee development and succession planning.
What do you think it means to be a leader?
I think the #1 trait of a good leader is actually caring about your people. You can’t fake it, you can’t pretend to care. You actually have to invest time in getting to know your team and where their strengths and weaknesses are and work with them to develop a plan to get to where you both want to go.
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