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​Doing business with Michael Horton of HCL: Outsourcing in the fast lane

​Doing business with Michael Horton of HCL: Outsourcing in the fast lane

'The challenge is how to adapt to the new delivery models that digital is driving…and do it fast! '

I was a terrible bank teller, so they sent me off to the ‘data processing department’.

Name: Michael Horton

Title: Senior vice president and country manager, Australia and New Zealand, HCL Technologies

Twitter handle: @MichaelGHorton

How long have you been in your current role?

Two-and-a- half years.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

To date HCL has been very successful in the traditional onshore/offshore outsourcing engagements, with rapid growth in the last decade.

The challenge now for HCL is how do we take that success and adapt to the new delivery models that digital is driving…and do it fast!

We're now operating in an environment where mobile and digital front ends need to interact seamlessly with both legacy and modern platforms. It requires all the traditional horizontal layers to work together – and sell together, as well as bringing in new skills. Commercial models are also shifting towards outcomes based, opex instead of capex, value based instead of volume based. It’s a big change and we’re putting a lot of energy into it.

What are your interests away from work?

Surfing as much as I can, and travel with my wife during time off…now that the kids have left and living their own lives (both are working in the UK).

We're now operating in an environment where mobile and digital front ends need to interact seamlessly with both legacy and modern platforms.

Michael Horton, HCL Technologies

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

I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mentor many years ago, who was an ex-US Naval Commander. He was actually the commander of the ship ‘Hornet’ that picked up Apollo 11, 12 and 13 on their return to Earth.

He had two key advice points which seemed a bit strange at first: “Always wear your very best clothes to work – it shows respect to your job, your staff and yourself” and “Be first to leave the office – and make sure everyone knows you’re going and your work is done for the day – it shows confidence, trust and gives your staff permission to manage how they go about their working day."

Professionally, who do you admire most?

Julie Bishop – Australia’s Foreign Minister. She’s from my hometown (Perth). I’ve watched her progress over several decades, always with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

I remember one occasion around 10 years back, I was attending an award ceremony at a local university, and Julie was speaking. I could not believe the statistics that she was able to reel off in her speech – with no notes. Ten minutes after her speech – she was back in her seat, sound asleep, very obviously exhausted from a busy schedule.

How long have you been working in IT?

Thirty-three years.

How did you get into IT?

I was a terrible bank teller, so they sent me off to the ‘data processing department’.

If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing?

Making hollow wood surfboards (see Instagram michaelhorton360)…I make them on the pool table at home. They take an unbelievable amount of time, but the end product is worth it.

Can you share a key pointer for fostering an innovative culture in the organisation?

Get the young ones in – and listen to them.

...and for building a diverse team?

Relish and accept differences. The more varied the culture, age and gender make up of your team, the better.

'Relish and accept differences' - Michael Horton, HCL Technologies
'Relish and accept differences' - Michael Horton, HCL Technologies

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