Techwork 2022: Peter Tucker, IK Partners
Tucker started his career as a sound engineer at broadcasting company CTV Facilities. He then moved to audio visual equipment supplier, HHB Communications, where he was responsible for providing IT support. Tucker spent the next 12 years at John Sisk & Son, initially as IT support, before rising through the ranks to become the group’s IT service delivery manager.
With a wealth of technological experience, Tucker joined IK Partners in 2012 and spent the next seven years as the firm’s IT manager, before being promoted to his current position, director of IT, in 2019.
Since joining IK, Tucker has changed almost every aspect of the IT service. “Running an IT department for almost 200 users (and growing), requires all areas of the IT service to evolve with the business,” he says. Tucker explains IT infrastructure and service provider Softcat is one of the firm’s core suppliers. “I’ve used them for many years. As well as being our primary reseller, they provide valuable cyber security services.”
While IK primarily uses Microsoft’s suite, the team opted for Egnyte over Microsoft’s Sharepoint and OneDrive. Additionally for deal management, Tucker added DealCloud to the mix. “It has been an internal struggle in encouraging teams to move away from spreadsheets, but we are getting there.”
As IK continues its digital journey to the cloud, Tucker explains cyber security and governance are high on his agenda. “There is a never-ending balancing act between security and usability,” he says. “Put too much security in place and systems become unusable, users will complain and find ways around it. Put too little and everything could fall apart very quickly.” Tucker adds that his team puts lots of effort into user awareness through regular phishing tests, online training and emails from the IT division with security advice. “A lot of my focus is on our Luxembourg office as we’ve experienced significant growth over there, not just in terms of people but also compliance requirements for IT services.”
Overall, Tucker is proud of the high quality service his team provides across all functions. “Our service portfolio is now primarily SaaS-based, with only a handful of services and servers left on premises. We have plans to migrate these over the coming years.” Given the importance technology plays in allowing IK to scale, Tucker has pushed to make the division a core part of the firm, rather than a separate support team. “We don’t outsource any primary support services. We ensure we visit our users in all IK’s offices and work closely with all areas of the business.”
Regarding IT peer connections, Tucker explains he’s part of a PE IT Leaders group, which has been running for many years. “There is no central organisation or regular meetings, just a mailing list and a group chat,” he says. “The group has proved to be invaluable over the years, providing real life experiences of suppliers and systems. It also allows us to benchmark ourselves against our peers and provides me with many ideas on how to improve the IT services we provide.”