president and CEO of Global Data Consultants LLC
Q: What are some new trends or innovations on the IT horizon, and what will they bring to the business arena?
A: The trend is toward value. Customers want the most value out of their IT spend. Technologies are constantly evolving, and we focus on what is relevant and not a passing fad. On a personal level, most people like to try new things and sample the next interesting technology, but in business that next new thing needs to bring value.
We strive to educate our customers with what has proved valuable in the IT marketplace and what is applicable to how they want to be positioned for stability and growth.
Do you advise your clients as to best practices in social media, and what are they?
Yes, but we look at this from two angles. First, and most commonly, is on how to effectively use social media to bring value to your business. Where can it help you connect with your customers?
Second is how to manage social media so that it is not an unchecked function in your organization. The lines around personal and business activities online are increasingly becoming blurred. Two of the most well-known examples today are LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn combines an employee's current work activities with all of their past work experiences. Twitter is similar in that if someone started using a personal account for business purposes and obtains a large network of followers around the employer's business activities, it can be difficult to determine who owns those relationships if the employee decides to find other employment. We help organizations develop strategies that help to mitigate these risks upfront.
Your company has seen rapid growth since you launched a strategic business expansion plan more than a decade ago. What was involved in this plan and to what do you attribute this growth?
Our plan was simply to attract talented IT professionals with a focus on customer service and connect them with customers who value that combination of skills and personality.
Initially, we focused on large enterprise accounts with a deep understanding of what IT could do for their organization. We helped them with the "heavy lifting" and sharpened our understanding of the strategy behind IT in support of the company's success. We then leveraged that knowledge to assist medium- to small-market-cap companies with a strategy to mirror those capabilities and gain a strategic market advantage.
What is the key to matching the right IT professional with your clients' needs?
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It's all the basics, but listening to your customer's needs is paramount. Making sure that the professionals from our organization that are engaged with our clients are listening to them. This keeps our success rate high.
That philosophy also builds strong, long-lasting relationships.
IT seems to be a field in which there is constant and rapid change. How do you and your company keep up with these changes?
GDC is made up of employees that truly live for IT. One of the constant themes we hear amongst our staff is, "If you are not learning, then you are not growing." That is why we all chose the IT field in the first place.
We have two certified testing centers within our facilities to make the certification process as convenient as possible to our staff and our customers.
Gregory Courtney, 47, founded Global Data Consultants in 1995. Since then, it has grown into a 225-employee enterprise with three offices in central Pennsylvania, one in Maryland and another in Wisconsin.
GDC is a veteran-owned business; Courtney served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987-92.
Courtney lives in Montgomery Township, Franklin County, has six children and is engaged. In his free time, he enjoys boating.