In January this year, Tim Larcos leapt from the world of media and entertainment into an organisation that helps businesses and entrepreneurs meet and exceed their professional ambitions. As the CIO with PwC’s Private Clients business, Larcos supports more than 50 partners and 600 staff working across nine sites nationally.
What’s one of the biggest IT projects you’ve undertaken recently that involved third party IT companies?
PwC’s Private Clients business has recently undergone a substantial business model transformation, which has involved improving our internal operations to deliver better experiences for our clients and our staff. The project involved leveraging integrations across multiple disparate systems, sold through resellers and pulled together leveraging third party IT companies focusing on API integration.
How can a supplier impress you and win your business?
If you’re a reseller, I’d expect you to talk to me about what value you add, on top of what the software provider offers. I’ll want to know why the software provider chose you over someone else. If you’re a system integrator, you should be able to talk about the size and scale of integrations you’ve covered and the calibre and quality of clients you’ve serviced. Fundamentally, we both want to be able to work together going forwards, so structuring the conversation around how we can partner and grow together is important.
Can you tell us about the last time an IT service provider impressed you?
We’ve recently engaged with a number of IT service providers as part of a continuation of our business model transformation project. One interaction that stood out was a systems integrator who took the discussion just that little bit further. Often the discussions are around the immediate solution – that is to say, ‘We have a problem, what tool or service can you offer to fix it?’
This particular provider addressed those questions, but then went on to discuss longer-term partnership opportunities that would not likely benefit them, but had potential to benefit us. It’s this type of generosity that gives you an indication of the type of company you’re working with behind the scenes.
How is the cloud affecting your approach to IT investment in hardware and software?
We live in an ‘XaaS’ world – Everything-as-a-Service. So from an IT infrastructure perspective, the industry is moving towards relying on the SaaS providers to provide the infrastructure and accordingly can commit to relevant SLAs.
We now take a far more agnostic approach to the types of technologies we procure in order to future-proof ourselves. If the longer-term expectation is that most of your day-to-day can run in a web-browser, the hardware becomes irrelevant.
Privacy and security are at the forefront of most peoples’ minds. As the industry grows, so too will the expectations.
Is your use of external IT companies increasing or decreasing?
There is an element of status quo presently, with a downward turn in the short to medium term. This is primarily driven by SaaS providers taking a more active role in ensuring support is provided and this reduces our immediate reliance on external vendors to support us.
It’s important not to lose sight, however, of growing technologies like 3D printing or Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. People who have skills in this space are going to be scarce, so as these become more prevalent, I expect external specialists will be required.
- 2015 – present CIO, Private Clients at PwC Australia
- 2011 – 2015 IT manager, Asia Pacific at Deluxe (media & entertainment)
- 2007 – 2011 IT manager, Asia Pacific at Hill-Rom (healthcare)
- 2006 – 2007 Team Lead, National at First Data
- 2000 – 2005 Technical Specialist at JAM Software
- March 2014 – present Branch Executive Committee at Australian Computer Society
- Senior Certified Professional from the Australian Computer Society
- MAICD with the Australian Institute of Company Directors