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Doing business with Darren Leahy of Westbourne IT

Doing business with Darren Leahy of Westbourne IT

The chief operations officer of Irish company Westbourne IT on how disruptive technologies allow him to run global operations from Auckland.

Name: Darren Leahy

Title: Chief operations officer, Westbourne IT Global Services

Twitter handle: @dazz1974

What business technology issue is Westbourne IT focusing on?

We are focused on 24x7x365 multilingual remote helpdesk support for organisations that are looking to compliment or outsource their current helpdesk, finding ways to work smarter and proactively to reduce the time end users can’t access their IT systems.

What are your interests away from work?

Read more: What it’s like to be CIO for a not-for-profit

My interests revolve around my family, friends and sport. My son plays for the Ponsonby Ponies so chances are on a Saturday morning you will find us attending one of his games, along with training on a Tuesday and a Thursday evening. We enjoy spending times with the friends we have made here in Auckland over the last 10 months and have realised even in winter you can have a BBQ in New Zealand!

‘How do we stop doing dumb things to our customer and staff?' If you can answer that question you will make things better for both your clients, end users and your staff.

Darren Leahy, Westbourne IT

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Read more: Unfazed by rapid change

It was a question rather than advice: “How do we stop doing dumb things to our customer and staff”. It was something a guy called Peter Massey in the UK is passionate about. It has stayed with me since I met him first over 10 years ago. [It applies], no matter what your job as we all have people we deliver services to in the industry. If you can answer that question you will make things better for both your clients, end users and your staff.

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into IT?

It is only in the last 18 months that I have worked with an IT company. Previous to that, my roles all interacted with various IT departments so I had to have an understanding of networks and the different systems that impact the effective running of an organisation. I was brought in to Westbourne to provide the operational expertise to their clients to ensure we provide a positive customer experience that combines IT know how with a client/end user focus.

What are some disruptive technologies you are working on, or keeping an eye on, and why?

Read more: Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield

There are a few that we are working with that are new to Westbourne - Injixo which is a cloud based workforce management system and People HR which is a cloud based human resource system. I am always looking at systems that are in the cloud and allow us to manage time more effectively. Given we are a global company it is important we have systems that can support the team no matter where they are in the world. Outside of Westbourne, Trustev which enables merchants to verify the identity of their customers and prevent fraud and has been in start-up phase, is a technology company that I am keeping a close eye on as they are going places.

Can you share one key pointer for leading very diverse teams working across different time zones?

Communication is the key. I have weekly if not daily calls with my direct reports and with the senior management team. It can be very easy to become disconnected when you have teams across different time zones so it is important to ensure that you keep lines of communication open day and night and provide clear focus and direction no matter where in the world people are based.

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