Octavian IT managing director Ben Solomon spills the beans on why and how they have been expanding rapidly since its inception a little over a year ago.
How did you get into the IT industry?
I’ve always had a passion for taking computers apart. That continued at school, where I got my ICT qualifications. I couldn’t bear the thought of an extended education, though, so I joined the RAF in a tech role. I worked at multiple bases and toured Afghanistan and Europe. That whole period gave me so much life experience. It gave me confidence and I learned the value of teamwork. However, after five years I decided to jump headfirst into the IT world.
What makes Octavian IT stand out?
It’s not just about business processes for us. We do a lot more than just fix things. We’re trying to be an IT solutions partner, not just a support company. We sit on board meetings and discuss the overall direction of a firm’s IT strategy, with the ultimate aim of becoming their internal IT department.
Crucially, we know business systems as well as computer stuff, so we can show businesses how to integrate their IT in order to grow. We’re proactive rather than reactive – unlike many other firms in our sector.
What challenges have you encountered and what’s been the key to your success?
Managing time has been the biggest challenge. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to fix everything. That’s why time management is key.
The driving factor behind our success is that Jeremy (Whitehead, solutions director) and I have a huge passion for the industry. We get a buzz out of helping people and we’re very success-driven. We really want to make our mark. We’ve also retained the right clients, and of course the Octavian brand is well known around the Midlands and in London. We’ve got the group support in the background which has been a big help.
Where do you see Octavian IT in ten years’ time?
The long-term aim is to become an international managed service provider. We’ve just set up a U.S company which has already won some clients, so we’ve taken the first step towards achieving our goal.
Are businesses keeping on top of the latest cyber security threats?
Not all of them are, unfortunately. The essence of all cyber security is user awareness. That’s what’s sadly lacking within many businesses. The vast majority of malicious actions are carried out via email. Software can only go so far, so really it comes down to judgement. Businesses should look for the presence of the abnormal, or the absence of the normal, in any email communications they receive.