We’re excited to announce that Kyle Burke has been appointed as our Chief Information Officer. Read on to find out why the investment in Kyle and his team is an exciting one not just for him, but for the Group as a whole!
Kyle has eight years of service at Avonside Group under his belt, kicking off his career at the company as Business Development Manager at Avonside Renewables before moving to a Group business development role, tasked with cross-selling the full range of services the Group offers.
With a background in IT prior to working at Avonside, the next natural step for Kyle was taking up the post of Group Systems Manager in 2015, which began with the implementation of a CRM system, but quickly grew into planning and managing the complete overhaul of our IT infrastructure and line of business applications, working alongside the newly formed Systems Team.
This overhaul has included modernising our IT infrastructure to keep pace with our growth, consolidating the systems we use, such as developing a standard specification for hardware, onboarding everyone with cloud-based systems so we have more scalability, and making the license software, such as Office 365, more consistent across the Group.
Staying with IT, Kyle served as Systems and Integration Director from May 2017, collaborating with our Mergers and Acquisitions Director to integrate new Avonside Group businesses, onboarding them with the same systems the wider Group was using. He also managed the procurement, development, and rollout of several business applications before landing his current role.
We caught up with Kyle to discover what his new role involves and the impact he aims to have on the Group.
“This new role is a step up for me, allowing me to add value through having a greater influence over the vision and strategic goals of the group. It sits above the pillars of IT, which we’ve labelled operational IT, digital transformation, and data. It’s this third element that is most compelling to me, as it relates to one of my long-standing ambitions for Avonside, which is to become a truly data-driven organisation.”
Kyle reveals that it’s the data element of the job he can’t wait to sink his teeth into – an opportunity he will begin to realise in September once the implementation of the Group’s new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is fully concluded – after what has been an all-consuming 18-month project for Kyle and his team.
“I’m proud to say I have an excellent team around me that manages operational IT and digital transformation, freeing me up to explore further innovation. During the last 18 months, I’ve also seen an encouraging willingness to embrace change, which is a testament to the commitment and professionalism of all the staff in the company.
“ERP is an unprecedented step forward for Avonside, which will give us a holistic, unified view of data across all core business functions.”
“It might be a few months until I can get my teeth into the new role in earnest,” Kyle explained, referencing the ongoing ERP project. “But the Group will soon have access to data that can fuel our future growth, empowering us to progress and become a truly data-driven business.”
“There are always barriers along the way when it comes to technology and challenges with change management. This is especially the case when you consider our historical M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) growth, and the impact COVID has had on the marketplace and work environment over the last 18 months.
“A key part of my job at Avonside has been encouraging people within the Group to be part of a collective organisation, which can be tricky for someone moving from an owner-managed business to a more corporate environment.
“That being said, the vast majority of interactions I have with colleagues within the business are positive, and people seem to be more accepting of technological change than ever before.”
“The appointment of a CIO is a signal of intent from the Board that we want to make digital transformation and data analytics a priority. As a company, we want to ensure that staff has access to relevant, timely information that helps them make decisions.
“Specific examples of this would include revamping the reports and dashboards our management has access to, reducing data entry through process automation, introducing FP&A (Financial, Planning, and Analysis) tools, improving our use of market data and creating a forecasting algorithm to allow us to plan future workload based upon our sales pipeline.
“As well as enhancing our staff members’ experience with data, I’m also looking forward to working closely with our customers to add value through digital-driven service innovation to support their ongoing and future needs as we progress the digitisation of back-office services to improve the overall experience of all our customers.”
After sharing that he was given the opportunity to work as Group Systems Manager back in 2015 after bemoaning the lack of centralised systems in the company, Kyle added:
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the last 9 years to have been given the opportunity to succeed at Avonside. I’d like to thank all the Board and in particular, Eddie [Stanton, Avonside Group CEO], who have placed a lot of trust in me to work on exciting and important projects. I’d also like to thank Carl Mason, Jason Laney, James Winfield, and Pia Uvero for their commitment, and look forward to providing exciting projects and opportunities as we continue to strengthen our team.”