My Business Life: Enda Doyle, EY Ireland

Enda Doyle, Technology Consulting partner with EY Ireland shares his life and business lessons.

Enda Doyle is a Partner in EY’s Technology Consulting practice and is based in the firm’s Dublin office. 

He leads EY’s Telecoms, Media and Technology (TMT) practice in the Irish market.

“I love change and constant movement. My own personal motto is that you should constantly be expanding the remit of your job by progressing and moving forward with ideas and solutions”

Doyle has a background in Technology Delivery managing large scale solution delivery in the TMT industry locally and globally.

He leads EY’s large-scale tech transformation programmes in migrating customers from legacy environments to sustainable cloud based solutions.

He has more than 25 years of experience in delivering large scale technology driven business solutions to enterprise and government clients in Ireland and internationally.

Tell us about your background, what journey did you take to arrive at where you are?

I started my career as a software developer in Bank of Ireland Finance, and then moved into consultancy roles in Telecoms at a time in the 1990s when the sector was beginning to deregulate across Europe. I then moved to Canada where I worked for a number of years during a time of major innovation as Telecoms companies adapted to the rapid onset of new technologies.

Following this, I worked with various companies across the UK, Middle East, US and Canada as they underwent large-scale deployments of new technologies. It was a brilliant fast-paced environment where you had to learn quickly and adapt as the convergence of Telecoms and Media companies came about.

When I returned to Ireland, I worked in professional services before moving to Eircom as they were building their managed services and cloud services capabilities. Then I moved back to the world of SAAS helping further companies build up their cloud services. Today, in my role at EY, I work on large scale transformations for businesses, and projects involving managed services, cloud migration, and cloud operating transformations.

Why are you doing what you are doing? What’s your USP?

I love change and constant movement. My own personal motto is that you should constantly be expanding the remit of your job by progressing and moving forward with ideas and solutions. You shouldn’t ever be standing still when it comes to work. I derive real professional satisfaction from helping companies transform and showing them how implementing the right technologies can change their business for the better.

What are your key skills and qualities that set you apart?

Intrinsic problem-solving is a key skill. And energy. I bring energy to the work that I do and the projects I’m involved in, and when a complex transformation project becomes challenging, it’s that energy that will help it through to successful completion.

I pride myself in helping people move from feeling like they are stuck to getting complex problems solved. It takes a can-do attitude. I’m very experienced at getting that positive momentum going within a team or on a project. Even incremental progress, chipping away at a problem bit by bit can snowball and can often solve those major technology challenges for large organisations.

“I’m a firm believer in ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’. Work hard, say yes to opportunities and you will stand out”

What (or whom) has helped you most in your career along the way? Who was your greatest mentor/inspiration?

Two people at the start of the career truly inspired me. The first, Joan Ryan, was the Head of IT at Irish Sugar, where I did work experience after I finished college. During my time working there, I was given the challenge to implement a brand-new IT system where there was nothing at all, only a paper duplicates and carbon copies system. I was a student with zero experience of this kind of project but Joan, as my manager, gave me the confidence that I needed to take on the project and trusted I could complete it successfully. She mentored me through the project and instilled confidence in me in my own abilities.

The second person is Bruce Saville, Founder of Canadian tech company Saville Systems, where I learnt a lot about the world of Telecoms and Media. Bruce had started the software company from scratch, and he exemplifies the can-do attitude I find so inspiring to this day. He made me believe that no project is too big if you have the drive and confidence to do it. Working with Bruce and his team was an amazing five-year learning experience, and I only hope that I might have the opportunity to inspire others in my job in the same way that he inspired me.

What was the greatest piece of business advice you ever received?

Follow your nose, (or trust your gut, as some might say). Have confidence in what you are doing and what your professional instincts are telling you.

What circumstances/qualities/events can mark the difference between success or failure in life or business?

I’m a firm believer in “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. Work hard, say yes to opportunities and you will stand out.

“In all of our professional and personal lives, the use of technology is increasing and the technology itself is improving all the time and we should embrace it”

How has digital transformation been a factor in your role?

Everything I’ve done in my career has been about digital transformation, and I’ve been privileged to witness incredible change and transformation across my career from starting with carbon copies as an intern in Irish Sugar through to using GenAI as a copilot and assistant in my work today.

When I look back at my experience, while the theme of embracing change and innovation is thread throughout, what is different is the technological advancements, the improvements in technology infrastructure, and the people driving the change.

Transformation projects are complex with numerous challenges to overcome, particularly when you must convince people who have been doing something one way for years to change their habits. That is where the people driving the change become hugely important to the success of the project. Working with a team that is open to understanding people and human behaviour and when its necessary to create compromises can really help progress a project.

What technologies/tools do you use personally to keep you on track?

I always work with the core tools of the business I’m working in, whether that’s a Jira board or Teams channels and everything in between.

What are your thoughts on where technology overall is heading and how it will apply to business generally and your business particularly?

In all of our professional and personal lives, the use of technology is increasing and the technology itself is improving all the time and we should embrace it.

Technology has helped the world become a smaller more connected place. It has helped increase human to human interactions (via the phones I started with and then the services over broadband like email, video messaging and social media) and technologies like GenAI are really exciting and represent the next stage in this evolution.

What advice/guidance do you give new hires and how do you nurture talent in your organisation?

I’ve found in the world of tech, sometimes people love to immerse themselves in the technology itself and get frustrated if others don’t understand it and its benefits immediately. But all of us operate in a people business. In order to get the best out of technology, you have to understand the people who will use that technology.

Don’t get lost in the technology, make sure you interact with your colleagues, clients and immerse yourself in the projects that we do. As consultants, we help clients navigate challenging projects and at the core of what we do is having a deep understanding of what our clients want and need to optimise their businesses.

More generally, I would also advise new hires to make yourself the busiest person in the room. Focus on the outcome of your efforts and then you will bring value to your team and the projects you work on.

What business books do you read or would recommend?

While not strictly a business book, I recently read Legacy by James Kerr, and it’s really resonated with me. It looks at New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team, how they built a culture of winning and the lessons that can be learnt from their success. Many of the themes translate in the business world, like hard work, humility, teaming and keeping your values routed is the core of what you do.

Finally, if you had advice for your 21-year-old self – knowing what you know now – what would it be?

Work out what you enjoy doing first, as opposed to what you think you should do. And once you’ve done this, relax and trust in your own abilities. Trust your instincts and follow you nose.

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John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.