Patrick McAliskey, Managing Director, Novosco, Belfast

Please tell us a bit about Novosco

Novosco is a managed cloud provider employing around 160 people, with offices in Belfast, Manchester, Dublin and Cork. Novosco counts some of the UK’s largest NHS trusts amongst its client-base, as well as several of London’s largest housing associations. Novosco’s customers also include Premier League football clubs, major police forces, and many of the island of Ireland’s leading businesses. Novosco’s revenue has grown every year of the last 10, and the company has been included in the Deloitte Fast 50 listing of the fastest growing technology companies on the island of Ireland for an unprecedented 17 consecutive years. Last year, Novosco acquired English firm NetDef in a significant deal. Novosco also doubled its headquarters space in Belfast with the acquisition of new 11,000 sq ft office premises in Catalyst Inc.

What has made Belfast a good place to locate Novosco?

Novosco is an indigenous Northern Ireland company which was founded in Belfast and maintains its headquarters in the city. The company has experienced significant growth in the English market, but Northern Ireland remains a core part of Novosco’s business, with many of Northern Ireland’s top companies and largest organisations as clients. Our headquarters in Belfast is a centre of excellence, working closely with our teams in offices in Manchester, Dublin and Cork. Belfast is a great city to be based due to its good transport links – there are two airports with direct flights to major UK cities, and strong road links with Dublin – as well as the excellent local universities and colleges, and the supportive business environment.

What has your experience been of hiring talent in Belfast?

Northern Ireland has great educational establishments producing high quality people. We also have some world class technology companies where people have the opportunity to develop their skills and experience. As a result, we have been able to recruit some fantastic people. However, it is no secret that we would like to see a greater pipeline of skills in Northern Ireland. Due to fact that Northern Ireland has a really strong technology sector, there is significant pressure on the available skills, with strong competition for people. We work very hard to ensure that Novosco is a fantastic employer, including investing significantly to ensure we have world-class office premises. But the industry as a whole requires a greater flow of skills, and like other businesses, we are working closely with educational establishments on innovative ways of achieving this.