Our insight

Claire Hopkins

Founding Director

Recent Posts


On the surface of it, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's been a bad six months or so for sexism. A series of leaks, accusations and other controversies have exposed the 'bro' culture apparently rife within Silicon Valley, and allegations of sexual harassment in Parliament has propelled sexism and the abuse of male power to the forefront of public discussion. So even if we weren't before, we're all now aware of the sexism and bias endemic within certain industries. Why isn't the problem going away?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

It's International Women's Day, and this year's theme 'being bold for change' calls for everyone to help forge a better working world - a more inclusive, gender-equal world. That's long been a theme for us here at Ideal, but as we've discovered, it's hard to build a gender-balanced IT solutions company when the overwhelming majority of job applicants are male.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

At the start of November I was in San Francisco for Cisco's Partner Summit. Cisco knows as well as we all do that in 2016, the IT industry is long embarked on its journey away from hardware sales - the so-called 'box-shifting' days - towards a model where hardware is commoditised, and the value is in unlocking performance through software, delivery and service.

That's a fundamental change which has presented a strategic challenge for a network hardware company like Cisco

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Our series of interviews with Women in IT is uncovering some persistent themes, but also a variety of experience - and differing opinions on how to encourage women into the industry.

I have been struck by how all the women we have interviewed have referred to the breadth of opportunities available to them in IT companies. Also the women have acknowledged that there are very few roles in any sector which are not now touched by technology, so using the phrase 'women in IT' may not resonate with many women in broader tech careers. Only two of the 11 women we have interviewed studied an IT-related subject at university - just as many studied an Arts subject. I wonder how this impacts on how we define ourselves, how we are experienced as women in this technology industry, and if changing our language when we describe our careers may impact positively on our efforts to promote gender diversity.

To explore some of these themes I caught up with Brandwatch's chief people officer, Naomi Trickey.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

I'm fiercely proud of Ideal and the care with which we're all working to build the business, so I'm particularly pleased that we again feature in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 - an annual league table of Britain's fastest-growing private technology companies. Not only that, but we've climbed three places from last year to reach number 47.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

If you follow Ideal's news, you'll know that we've recently announced promotions in our relationship with three of our key partners. In addition to our Premier level partnership with Cisco, we're now a NetApp Gold Partner, VMware Enterprise Solution Partner, and a Palo Alto Networks Platinum Partner.

These accreditations reflect our commitment to investing in the development of expertise across the breadth of our product portfolio, which includes security, network, storage, virtualisation, data centre and unified comms.

I believe this breadth and depth of expertise is unusual in a smaller IT firm, so I wanted to explain here why we make this investment.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

If you're in touch with us, you probably know that on Monday we moved into brand new offices in the centre of Brighton. It's a big change - we'd been happy for five years in our Kemptown home - so here I want to follow up on my previous post and share how we've set up the new office to change how we work and reflect our culture and ambition.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Like many businesses, last Thursday's referendum result has got us thinking about the future, and how we and our customers will manage the changes it might hold. Change is a given in the tech industry of course, and disruption was already on my mind last week as I attended three events: The first was a Cisco EMEAR partner advisory exchange in London, while the other two - a DLA Piper panel discussion on women in technology and Bailey & Fisher’s Designing our Future event - took place as part of London Technology Week.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

One challenge that any growing business faces is working out how much space you need. In the current property climate it takes nerves of steel. I know this from personal experience as it's exactly the challenge we're dealing with at Ideal at the moment.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Last week I attended Cisco’s Partner Summit and Marketing Velocity conference in San Diego. Marketing Velocity is an inspiring day full of speakers and workshops focused on marketing best practices. Here are five things that I took away from the event.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Last week I attended an event at City College which brought together politicians, education providers and employers to share ideas, and to work with the college to create a new institute providing technology and arts education in Brighton. Here are my thoughts.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]