Brightsolid expansion

Scotland-based Brightsolid wasted no time in harnessing demand for public cloud services and CEO Elaine Maddison is set to extend the MSP’s strong presence in this space south of the border.

Dundee headquartered Brightsolid aims to become a UK-wide force in hybrid cloud provision and is riding the wave of fast growth. The company was established in 1995 and now employs approximately 60 staff. Its customer base is mainly Scottish-based medium to large organisations, especially in the oil and gas and public sectors – but Maddison has big ambitions to extend Brightsolid’s influence. In serving its customers Brightsolid designs, manages and builds secure and scalable hybrid cloud environments. The company owns two tier III data centres, one in Dundee and one in Aberdeen, and specialises in managed private and Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

“Our core target market continues to be SMEs in Scotland, although we are seeing increasing demand from the north of England, especially for our AWS expertise,” commented Maddison. “As demand for public cloud and associated services increases, our products and services continue to grow and evolve. My priorities are to continue to grow our cloud practice and be a leading hybrid cloud provider not just in Scotland, but the UK. We have a talented bunch of people at Brightsolid, but the skills shortage in the UK IT industry is definitely a challenge for all of us with growth plans.”

Before joining Brightsolid at the start of 2019, Maddison spent 20 years in the UK financial services industry. “I worked across a wide range of disciplines including technology and change, operations, risk management, marketing and product development,” she explained. “I was heavily involved in M&A activities, leading various business functions through transformational change – something I am passionate about and have been able to bring into my role at Brightsolid by leading the ongoing transformation of the company’s technology and service delivery offerings.”

Maddison had previously experienced Brightsolid as a customer during her time working with Alliance Trust Savings. “This gave me insight from the end user perspective, which is valuable to have as we work day-to-day with our customers,” she added. “Stepping into my first CEO role with Brightsolid has been the most challenging and rewarding achievement of my career to date.”

That Maddison plays to her strengths and lives by her determination to do the right thing was also evident when she grabbed the bull by the horns and changed career – a decision that was perhaps made more challenging for a female business leader. “I walked away from a senior role without a back-up plan in place because it had been challenging my integrity on a regular basis,” stated Maddison. “It worked out well, but it was one of the hardest decisions I have made. As a female in a leadership role, I’ve faced many challenges along the way and have too often felt the need to prove myself or shout louder to be heard. Nowadays I’m more confident in who I am and I always just try to be myself, which is sometimes harder than it sounds.”

Just a minute with Elaine Maddison...

Role model:
My main inspiration comes from my smallish circle of family and friends who are grounded, genuine and fun to be with.

What do you fear most?
Lost time: The last 18 months have served as a sharp reminder of the need to spend your time wisely and with the people who matter.

Your strengths and what could you work on?
I’ve been told my intuition is my superpower. I love data, but when it comes to people, the ability to look beyond what is being said and join the dots is incredibly helpful. The area I’m always working on is not to be so hard on myself when things don’t go to plan.

What talent do you wish you had?
To be musical.

The hardest decision you made last year?
Sending our whole team home to work remotely ahead of the mandated lockdown. With the benefit of hindsight it was a great decision, but one I toiled over at the time.

Best advice you’ve been given:
To always be myself.

Name three ideal dinner guests:
Michelle Obama (as she can do no wrong), Olivia Coleman (who wouldn’t want to be her friend?), and Micky Flanagan (he is absolutely hilarious).

If you weren’t in ICT what would you be doing?
Executive coaching.

What possession could you not live without?

How do you relax?
I’ve incorporated daily walks into my life since the start of the pandemic and I’m a huge advocate of the mental and physical health benefits of getting your 10,000 steps a day in! Hanging out with family and friends over a nice lunch and a glass of wine is my ideal way to spend the weekend.

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