Businesses are constantly increasing investments in enhancing their digital agenda, the speed of their networks, building their cloud capabilities, and most importantly, improving their resilience for their customers. The customer-centricity has given a rise to new strategies amongst businesses that specifically concentrate on customer requirements. Therefore, the products, services, or solutions from companies are greatly proportional to customer demands.
Clare Parry-Jones, the Sector Director of Enterprise at Computacenter and her colleagues have built powerful partnerships with the world’s leading technology providers to offer such customer-focused solutions. At Computacenter, Clare is contributing to a path of sustainable growth with her excellent leadership qualities and influential communication skills.
The Journey of Leaping from Versatile Roles to being a Leader at Computacenter
Being the only child of her parents, Clare was very close to them. Since childhood, she saw her parents efficiently running a hotel business; she observed them putting the customer at the heart of everything. That observation was the beginning of her journey.
In her studies, Clare initially started with A-levels in Chemistry, Biology & English Literature. While doing that, she took an additional O-level in Computer Studies. Moving ahead, Clare dropped her idea of doing Food Science with a thought of spending 4 years in a lab coat and took admission in a new degree in Business Information Technology at UCLAN and pursued it with full interest. After completing her studies, she moved to various companies leading them with different roles. Interestingly, Clare’s roles transitioned from technical support, systems engineer to sales management. With her adaptable nature, she joined Computacenter in 2007 as an account manager. Her dynamic business and leadership qualities were soon recognized, and are utilized daily in her current role of Sector Director.
Assisting Clients in their Success while Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Today, at Computacenter, the team is successfully adding value to the clients’ businesses by offering complete advice on what choice of technology will be best suited for their businesses. They listen to customer needs and find the best ways to integrate Computacenter services to their environment and help them to manage it securely and reliably. Commenting on the growth of Computacenter, Clare asserts, “Being 38 years old and UK based, we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve created a ‘can-do’ culture where people matter and are encouraged to thrive. Today, our business has grown in capability, reach, and reputation.”
Clare and team are therefore continually focused on long-lasting relationships with customers and long-term goals. Computacenter believes that profitability is directly related to customer satisfaction which encourages them to experiment with new trends and technologies and explore delivery locations for new service centres. Likewise, the team leads the go-to-market strategy primarily with their service business which helps them to drive the overall strategy for Computacenter. Computacenter views Managed Services as the prerequisite for long-term customer relationships and retention, whilst Professional Services give them visibility and recognition as they work with CIOs to make their IT infrastructure suitable for digital services. Further, these relationships help their Technology Sourcing business to flourish.
Additionally, to remain ahead in the challenging environment where clients prefer high-quality services at low price points, Computacenter constantly focuses on maintaining high levels of professionalism and quality with competitive pricing while considering the commercial viability to avoid any losses.
Defeating Problems while Making Confident Decisions
Since joining, Clare has significantly contributed to the company to new horizons of growth. Being a mother and a senior leader in a reputed organization is not an easy task. Clare remarks on this, “For me, ensuring my work-life balance is critical. I’m not always perfect at balancing it, but I certainly try the best to manage my home as well as work.” Therefore, like most of us, she has to juggle everything and say ‘no’ to certain things. Clare always tries to approach everything with an open mind and trust her instincts while taking decisions. Regarding decisions, she was given advice by a past manager of hers from Compaq— “Make a decision and move on!” Clare follows this mantra to avoid stagnation and allowing for corrective action to be taken if required.
Clare’s customer-centric approach was learnt from her parents. She always thinks about remaining relevant to her customers and concentrates on their end goals to better assist them with Computacenter services. Throughout her career, Clare has been helping, driving and supporting people in their careers. While doing this, she never thought about leaving a legacy behind – she always wanted her team, colleagues and company to succeed.
When explaining about her opinions on legacy, Clare said, “I’ve never really thought about leaving a legacy [behind]. I don’t want to be famous for being a woman in IT. I want to be famous for being a Leader and Role Model that happens to be called Clare, who along the way has made a positive impact and depending on your point of view that could be as a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend, a co-worker and leader.”
Finally, this well-versed leader offers her advice, Clare shares “Treat people as you would want to be treated, approach each day with a smile as if it’s your first and never be afraid of failing.”