Meet The Experts – Matthew Wood

SSG Insight
  • Published date: 29 October 2020

As part of our ‘Meet the Experts’ Healthcare series we will take a look at the background and experience of some of our senior staff to highlight what they think are the most important factors in bringing about improvement in the sector. Here we have Mattew Wood, Chief Technology Officer at SSG Insight, reflecting how both technical and leadership skills are vital in building lasting client partnerships.

With a wide range of experience in professional services combined with a unique insight into IT, Matthew ensures large-scale complex projects are delivered on time.

How is your experience helping SSG Insight customers?

As an Information Systems Consultant I have a very wide range of business experience combined with IT knowledge. I always start with the question – “How does your business make money?”. Keen to leave school as soon as possible, I started in banking and then at a firm of solicitors as a trainee legal executive. This was at the time when computers had green screens and having done computer studies at school, I was considered IT savvy. I took to it like a duck to water and wrote conveyancing software and a probates system and with my interest in law decided that I should study it full time.

When I graduated, rather than go into the legal profession, I went into computer consultancy and professional services. I worked my way up from team leader to country support manager and through various project manager roles. Every job gave me insight into new sectors allowing me to bring my IT experience and understanding of business into play.

From a customer perspective, this means that I can ensure that every individual, company or consortium we are talking to gets sound advice based on the latest technology developments and our ability to tailor our approach to meet their needs.

How is your sector insight making a difference?

Having a good understanding of professional services means I can work across many different sectors typically public procurement on large contracts from light rail to healthcare. This experience brings a wider understanding to the team and helps our customers. A good example of this in healthcare is the contract at Fiona Stanley Hospital where we 63 systems had to go live at the same time and we had to bring together all the partners involved. This meant connecting and integrating different systems as well as redefining workflows.

How would you describe your approach to working with customers?

I combine my breadth of industry knowledge with our versatile solution (Agility) and apply this to different scenarios. I’m able to help our customers because I make sure I understand what they need, then work with our developers to overcome any challenges in the technical solution.

I also use my leadership and technical experience from managing both live and development environments, extensive experience of software development project life cycles and hardware implementations (including analysis, planning, executing, controlling, testing and concluding) to make sure what we deliver is right for the customer. I also help to develop our product roadmap which means that listening to what customers want is vital.

Can you give us examples of the benefits of this approach for customers?

Our customers know that I will do my best to get a project over the line in time. This timeliness is important in large public service contracts for example, where you have different companies, subcontractors and systems involved. I have successfully managed a project where I was brought in just four months before go-live.

What excites you about the future and what SSG Insight can offer?

Machine learning and AI will be key to what we offer over the next few years and this will mean encouraging more cloud-based working so that our customers no longer run their own IT. However, this is more than outsourcing, it means unlocking the benefits by using machine learning and AI to query their data and improve their analytics reporting and business intelligence by filling in the gaps between data and knowledge. As we move towards greater integration and automation between systems and using sensors and devices that are connected by the Internet of Things the need for this type of approach will be overwhelming.

Then when you consider the impact of mobile devices and mobile working, we have to think very creatively about the that devices are used in places where alerts are used. For example, a machine plant room is a very different environment to a mother and baby ward. This adds a layer of complexity and challenge, but one we are very well placed to meet.

We will be posting a series of four Meet the Experts pieces in our Healthcare series profiling James MacPherson, Matthew Wood, Amber Hart and Brian Armstrong. We hope that you find them an interesting read.

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