Jeromy Giacosa is the IT Director for Accriva Diagnostics with experience as a Director for over 15 years. He holds an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a BS in Management of Information Systems. Jeromy specializes in analyzing the needs of different departments and determines the best way to meet business objectives by modifying existing systems and processes or developing new ones. He drives the entire organizations technology needs including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Infrastructure. Mr. Giacosa is an active member in the San Diego IT Directors Group, sits on the Advisory council for the California Technology Summit and Interface Summit, was a nominee for the Top Tech Exec Awards, and has been heavily involved in the IT community for over 20 years.
What’s the #1 area of focus IT Director’s should concentrate on?
I feel that Director’s should always focus on better, cost effective, and faster ways of doing business through the use of technologies. You should always be up to date on the latest technology trend. When I joined Accriva IT was holding the company back. I was shocked to discover many systems and applications were over 10 years old and hadn’t been upgraded due to perceived complexities with process for approving changes through the quality department. I standardized, simplified, and upgraded the company’s IT infrastructure while working closely with quality to streamline the process for approvals to make changes with production systems. You have to look forward with technology, if you are looking back than your company is going to be left behind and any disadvantage in today’s market could be a huge loss for the company.
What’s your take on Public Cloud?
I believe the cloud has pros and cons like any solution and it should be used if it aligns with the business needs. If you are a small company you can give the appearance of being large by having some of the tools and up times of the larger organizations. You do not have to manage any of the day to day support of Cloud based systems which saves the company a lot of time and money. I recently did some work for a small company that has offices all over the world and I recommended that they go with a complete cloud solution from virtual desktops to servers in order to maximize efficiencies for the workers all over the world. At my current company, We use of the cloud for systems where it makes sense like Office 365 for e-mail and Google Cloud for our R&D department; however, most of our systems including ERP, Document Control, Active Directory, File Services, etc. are hosted internally.
Are there any hiring challenges?
Thankfully in this day and age the knowledge base of the applicants is rarely a worry. It is finding the right personality and if that persons strengths fit in your IT team that is the problem. So when I hire people I like to take them to lunch and have key staff members join us to see if they think they can work with this person I am considering. It is not always a perfect fit so I like to ask them some key questions to understand their strengths. Documentation was lacking when I first came to Accriva so I made sure that the person I hired was a good fit but also had a strong background in documentation. Ideally, I like to find candidates with passion, intelligence, integrity, and communication skills in addition to technical competence. Once hired to be successful associates require responsibility, accountability, authority, and autonomy.
What do you like to do?
I love to travel, see new places, and meet new people. I just got back from a trip to England and it was amazing to see how the country has changed in 20 years since my last visit.
What kind of messaging is coming from the CEO about their partnership with IT? What are they expecting you to look at?
IT can be challenging because the CEO and other C-level executives turn on their devices and expect them to work the way they want them to work 100% of the time. They have some idea of what my job entails but they do not know the day to day. If I am doing my job right, they do not have to be bothered with the day to day. My job is simple; everyone in the company should think the technology is just their and not give it another thought. When things do go wrong it should be minutes and hours never days to get things right. You do this by engaging the CEO with your vision of seamless technology meaning that no one should ever be idle in the company for any period of time. If one person is not working that means the company is not being productive and if the company is not making any money which makes it difficult to ask for additional funds to further streamline systems. CEO’s are looking for faster, cheaper, and better processes so that the company can maximize profits. You can do this a number of ways like standardize, centralize, and simplify your environment while maximizing the use of technology to your company’s advantage which I am proud to say I have accomplished at every organization I have worked with.
What are some exciting new projects coming up?
Accriva has recently has been acquired by Werfen. We are currently integrating our processes and systems into theirs. We are finishing up migrating our e-mail from Office 365 to IBM Verse and are actively working to integrate our JD Edwards ERP system into SAP. It’s exciting to implement or integrate ERP systems that you haven’t worked with before providing an opportunity to learn new systems. After this integration, I will have been involved with the implementation and support of 6 different ERP platforms including Oracle Financials E-Business Suite. We have a lot of training coming up to educate the end users on the new way they will not only be conducting their business but also give them an opportunity to voice concerns and problems. I like to do this before implementation so that I am aware of any struggles they may have and address it before it is a problem. I always like my company to have a 24/7 up time with happy and productive associates.
What superpower do you want most?
I would like to know what people are thinking. Many people do not like to ask for help, but if help is offered many accept. I think if I had this superpower I could help a lot of people with their problems. I love solving problems.
What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a policeman because I love to help people and solve problems. I would have made a great cop, but I am glad that after I graduated junior college I got a job with an IT consulting company that ultimately led to a 20+ year career in IT, a Bachelors in Information Systems, and an MBA from USC. IT is my passion and I often find myself telling people IT is not a job or a career, but a Life Style.
What mistake have you learned from?
One mistake I learned from over my career is determining how quickly to let an associate go (terminate their employment). It’s common knowledge to hire in haste, regret in leisure; but something I learned is to focus time and energy on my top performers and for those that don’t cut it let them go as quickly as possible. I realized that by keeping certain people around it was actually bringing my entire team down. If someone is not working out you just have to cut them loose otherwise their attitude goes viral and before you know it your whole team is dysfunctional.
There are certain traits that are extremely difficult if not impossible to change and you either have them or you don’t which includes: passion, intelligence, integrity, and communication. I look for these traits when I hire or build teams because these traits cannot be taught or learned. Technical competence is only part of the puzzle and to have a fully functional team begins with the right team members who can then be inspired, encouraged, led, and managed for personal and professional growth which leads to meeting department and corporate objectives for the success of the team and the company.
If you won the lottery what would you do?
I would travel and see the world with my family. I think it would be and eye opening experience for my children. I would never stop working in my field and thankfully I could do my job anywhere in the world because the language may be different but the technology remains the same.