Pat Lucey is CEO at Aspira, a consulting and technology business that has 160 employees and plans to add 40 more. In 2021, the company moved to a new premises at Penrose Dock, in Cork, and also opened an office in Portugal.
We must stop talking about getting back to normal or going back to the office. There is no ‘going back’ – instead we must focus on going forward. The changes we’ve been through changed how we work forever. We had to reimagine how we deliver our services to clients and find ways to help our clients navigate through these uncharted territories.
I am certain that when we navigate through the current difficulties, we will see fantastic opportunities and growth opportunities open up all around us.
Comparing now with before the pandemic, two years ago, everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed. By this I mean that what we do hasn’t changed – Aspira still delivers the same services to our clients to help them deliver large-scale technology projects, but how we do it has changed completely. In many ways, we have become more efficient, as travel time and commute time has been put to more productive use.
Previously there was a huge amount of face-to-face interaction and we would always work on site with our clients. Now as we work remotely we have to take extra steps to ensure our teams interact and collaborate proactively.
“We have seen a massive surge in demand for digital transformation”
Our business is based on delivery of technology projects and we have seen a massive surge in demand for digital transformation. Companies that would have talked about adopting new technology for years have jump-started implementation because they had to. The result was Aspira having our best year yet in 2021. Companies are seeing the potential offered by their new technology and want to implement more. As a result I believe we will see a global surge in business in 2022/23.
Like everyone else, I had my personal highs and lows over the past two years. I am an extrovert and draw my energy from being around people, so I really enjoyed the random projects our team did together. These included a virtual global charity walk, publication of a cookbook, and mixing cocktails with the Aspira brand colours!
I have been encouraging all our team to take their holidays. With working from home, it is so important for our mental health to switch off and get some free time. My only international travel in 2021 was a short trip to Portugal, where Aspira is setting up a new office. My only international travel in 2021 was a short trip to Portugal, where Aspira is setting up a new office. I had tentatively planned to spend some time working with our Charity partner Brighter Communities Worldwide, in Kenya. It is an ambition of mine to travel there to see the impact of the work being done and contribute directly myself. Unfortunately, the lockdown on international travel means that charitable organisations are really struggling to get the level of support they need.
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