Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Kathy Flanagan

  • Name: Kathy Flanagan

    Role: Global Head of IT Service Desk, TP ICAP

    What does your typical day look like?

    I’m an early riser and very much a morning person – up at 06:00 with a quick check of emails to ensure there are no burning issues and then into the office for 07:30. I check in with my team in Manila first as they have been covering the early hours. I then start to make a plan for my day, prep for any calls and update my to do list. The team in Belfast start to arrive as EMEA opens.

    Regularly questions or issues will be identified to me that will kick start the process of reviewing an area or process for improvement, I will then dedicate some time and resources to the issues to ascertain if the service desk are able to implement automation or process improvements to increase the efficiency of how our company handles requests and incidents internally.

    After lunch we are busy with our North American business opening and I am usually found dealing with escalations and queries from the service desk or directly from the business. My working day officially ends around 16:00 and then its home to pick up my little boy from daycare.

    What are you currently working on?

    The biggest piece I am working on at the moment is around service improvement, I have spent the last year analyzing and making changes to the processes used by the global service desk, I have been identifying areas for automation and have started the build out of a self-service portal which we will see being implemented in 2020. My primary focus at the moment is providing self-service functionality for our clients, rolling out self help knowledge articles and tools for users to log their own issues.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    TPICAP had just gone through a major transition (2 separate companies merged) becoming the world’s largest IDB and the opportunity with the new site and new team in Belfast as well as the opportunity to really put my own stamp on their Service Desk was very appealing and the main draw of the role

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I’ve always been tech focused and have had a desire to work with technology from an early age. During university I thought I would be a developer, but when I finished up a friend told me about an opportunity as a technical consultant in a helpdesk, I went for it thinking it would be a temporary role until I found a developer role elsewhere, but realized quickly that I loved the work and found it very rewarding and as such decided to stay put! In the financial services tech industry the work is fast paced and dynamic, you are really kept on your toes, I love troubleshooting and really getting my teeth into a new problem so it is perfect for me!

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    As the global head of the service desk, I really enjoy seeing my team reap the benefits of the positive changes I am able to implement, having the ability to make the necessary changes and knowing it really is having an impact on the company, that’s a great feeling. I always share improvements I make with other teams/departments to really try and help the company as a whole improve our efficiency.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    I think people always forget that there are other jobs in tech apart from development, my advice would be to ensure that you research all of the roles out there – there is such a wide range of roles in different areas within technology that are really fulfilling and provide interesting challenges.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    My first manager Rosemary in my first technical consultant role, was my major inspiration. I wasn’t sure about this area and she really inspired me – she was managing the team brilliantly, was friendly and approachable and really could solve any technical issue presented to her! She ingrained the confidence in me that made me feel like I could do it too, helped me find my feet in the industry, and gave me great opportunities very early on, to really show me how I could make the most out of this work. She convinced me that this work was for me and she was right, I am extremely grateful to her for that!

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    From a personal perspective – wearable health devices, the innovation there is great, my mother is diabetic and now can remotely administer insulin with a pump and can swipe her phone over an implant in the arm to test her blood sugar, gone are the days of daily injections and finger pricks!

    From a service desk perspective – AI & Machine learning, there is so much to come from the developments being made there that will really help us continue to improve the way we work. Chatbots and intelligent ticketing are now available and are improving all the time.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Honestly, I do not feel like there is any tech gadget I couldn’t live without! I try to switch off from tech at home when I can to spend time with my family.

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