Clinton Pownall, CEO, Computer Business Consultants, Inc.
Clinton Pownall is midway through year 23 of his stewardship of Computer Business Consultants. The veteran CEO took a little time in the spotlight to offer some advice.
WHAT CHANGES IN CUSTOMER DEMANDS AND EXPECTATIONS HAVE YOU SEEN OVER THE PAST YEAR OR TWO?
We do not see many changes in expectations and demands from our customers. I believe it is because we are demanding changes from our customers. We do not limit our services to just the maintenance of our clients’ IT infrastructures. We also evaluate the workflow process and procedures our clients follow to ensure they are maximizing their IT investments efficiently.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY YOUR BUSINESS FACES?
Ironically the biggest threat for Computer Business is also our biggest opportunity. We provide our services with great efficiency and our services are in high demand. Trying to maintain the level of service and efficiency our clients are accustomed to while keeping up with the demand is always a threat. We are continuously evaluating and reevaluating our process and procedures to ensure we are as efficient as possible. The majority of this is through ensuring we have automated workflows and integration so tasks are only touched once.
WHAT’S THE TOP METRIC YOU USE TO MEASURE SUCCESS? HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR TEAM IS ACHIEVING THIS METRIC?
The biggest metrics we look at in evaluating our staff is how productive they are and how we are able to improve the efficiency of their production. As CEO, I make it part of my job to meet with clients on a personal level and discuss their and our successes with them and how we can improve upon them.
WHAT WILL BE THE HOT OPPORTUNITY FOR MSPs FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
With the ever-changing dynamism of technology, it is virtually impossible to predict niche markets of the next five years. On the immediate horizon, we see security as the number one niche market. Hackers will always try to hack. As IT providers, Computer Business is forever staying ahead of the hackers to protect the assets and resources of our clients. We have invested a lot of our resources and effort into understanding how and where security threats come from. There are many tools at our disposal. Computer Business has also partnered with the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to use government resources as a tool to help facilitate threat detection and prevention.
WHAT’S YOUR HIRING PHILOSOPHY?
My hiring philosophy is to find a candidate who will be an asset to our team. Within 90 days of every new hire, I have them take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, exchange their assessment with management and other employees, and then enter their top strengths into a strengths matrix. This helps us see from a management perspective where in the team this individual fits. We then use the matrix to pull these resources for various projects and company initiatives. During the interview process, we emphasize team building and opportunity. In the initial four months of hiring, Computer Business invests a tremendous amount of resources in training new hires. We do not want to waste our time nor theirs if they are not a good fit for our company culture.
WHAT’S THE BEST BUSINESS BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?
The best book on my shelf is Small Time Operator by Bernard B. Kamorof. It was a gift from my wife shortly after graduating with my computer engineering degree. I was able to use it on my way up the ladder to becoming an effective CEO.
Computer Business Consultants, Inc.
In addition to serving as CEO at Computer Business Consultants, Clinton Pownall is incredibly active in his community. He sits on the boards of directors for the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and South Lake Chamber, in addition to his committee work promoting technical education and careers with Lake County schools, the University of Central Florida, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also reviews entrepreneurial and technology education curricula for the State of Florida Career Technical Education Dept.
VERTICALS: healthcare, legal, law enforcement, financial, manufacturing & distribution, education
VENDOR PARTNERS: ConnectWise, Dell, HP, IBM, IT Glue, Lenovo, Microlite, SonicWALL, Securematics, StorageCraft, Synnex, Xinuos
TECHNOLOGIES: Managed IT, Managed Security, Backup & Recovery, Cloud, Mobile Device Management