Introducing The Change Makers, a New Podcast from Freshworks

Personal Technology Has Revolutionized Our Lives… So Why is Work Tech So Clunky?

In the early 1990s, cell phones looked like bricks: big, bulky, and almost comically heavy. Their displays were monochromatic, and their address books couldn’t store more than two-dozen phone numbers. Texting wasn’t a thing. Emojis didn’t exist. Internet connectivity, video calling, and streaming weren’t even dreamed of.

Now, consider just how far we’ve come in just 30 years.

Omnipresent mobile internet puts the world at our fingertips. We can search for virtually anything on Wikipedia and buy almost anything on Amazon. In the 1990s, communication meant a garbled phone call. Now, it means crystal clear audio and video. Our smartphones offer access to more TV, movies, and music than anyone could consume in a hundred lifetimes.

Personal technology advancements like smartphones have revolutionized our lives.

But in the workplace, it’s a different story.

Clunky legacy technology holds back countless companies—from mom-and-pop stores to high-growth startups. Faced with clunky technology that hinders rather than help, employees become frustrated. Their productivity slows down and team cohesion fades. Employee engagement and satisfaction? No one’s happy when they’re fighting with their emails.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A new generation of IT leaders is fighting back. They’re challenging the status quo and transforming the technology behind world-leading companies. In The Change Makers, a new IT transformation podcast from Freshworks, we’re profiling their journeys.

In the first episode, we hear from:

Lucy Hallam, Service Desk Manager at the Croydon Health Services NHS Trust in London. She joined the Trust back in 1999 and endured close to 12 years of technology stagnation. But new management provided a chance to drive real change—an opportunity she seized with both hands.

Colin McCarthy, VP of Global IT at Essence. Colin has always been the most senior IT professional at Essence, growing into new roles alongside the company’s own expansion. But even with full autonomy, he saw how easily a fast-growing company could outgrow its infrastructure.

Sumit Kohli, Head of Collaboration Platforms at Education First. Like many organizations, Education First built, rather than bought, its first help desk. As the company grew and the help desk evolved, its maintenance demands ballooned. Eventually, the IT team decided enough was enough and launched a radical transformation.

During this five-part podcast, we track our Changemakers’ trials, tribulations, and triumphs, learning what it takes to drive transformation at world-leading companies.

We’ll hear from other IT leaders, too—people like V.Group’s Head of IT Derek Rose, Riverbed Technology’s VP of IT Peter Baskette, and our very own CIO, Prasad Ramakrishnan.

Listen to Episode One: The Chaos.

In this episode one, you’ll learn

  • How a small business help desk slowed down Croydon Health Services NHS Trust: “It had a ticket system and reporting, but it didn’t have scheduled reporting. It was a lot of work for me to draw up reports every month. There was no knowledge base or automation. The self-service was very poor and not many people used it.”
  • How Essence quickly outgrew their infrastructure: “There were eight IT professionals who used an email group for support. If people had a problem, they emailed in and somebody picked it up. That worked when we had 500 users across six offices. But we had a very large expansion in 2018, going from an eight-person IT team to 16. The email group just didn’t work anymore.”
  • Why Education First’s homegrown help desk couldn’t scale: “The old help desk had grown organically. It needed a database, servers, and infrastructure to support it. We needed one dedicated person purely looking at the code. We needed someone else to look at the database and maintain the physical hardware. It wasn’t worthwhile.”

Learn More about The Change Makers