Spotlight on Ellen Dickson, Strategic Director for Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I
In the latest issue of Ambition Magazine, all eyes are on Ellen Dickson, the Strategic Director for Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I. This spotlight feature delves deep into the life and accomplishments of this influential tech leader, who shares her passion for the healthcare technology landscape. Read the article below:
Ellen Dickson, Strategic Director of Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I is the driving force behind the success of Telefónica Tech’s multi-million-pound contract with Cambridge Trust Hospitals, which the company secured in 2018. With over 20 years of experience working in the IT sector across software, hardware and cloud services, Ellen has become an expert in healthcare. She has worked with clients in this field for over a decade to win huge healthcare contracts for the business such as the multi-year £107m contract for Cambridge and has used the momentum of this contract to win further healthcare contracts for Telefónica Tech.
Telefónica Tech is a digital transformation company offering a wide range of IT services and integrated technological solutions. It employs over 330 people in Northern Ireland, including a dedicated health-focused team, headed up by Ellen, providing IT Managed Services and broader digital transformation services to leading health trusts across the UK.
Previously working as a Client Director on healthcare contracts, Ellen now provides expert advice and support for strategy development for healthcare clients at Telefónica Tech, using her vast experience and knowledge. Reporting directly to Mark Gorton, Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica Tech UK&I, Ellen oversees the 24/7 team of employees dedicated to healthcare and is currently responsible for 126 people. This team is continuing to grow as this branch of the business expands, with an expected £180m to be delivered within the course of the next five years.
Ellen did not follow the conventional route into the IT industry. Having left school at the age of 16, Ellen enrolled on what was called the Youth Training Programme (YTP) and got a job in an accountant’s office whilst undertaking a BTEC (a specialist work related qualification) on day release. She then went on to achieve a Higher National Diploma (HND) at night class before completing a degree through part-time study in her mid-twenties. It was as an Account Manager with Novosco that Ellen helped the company get its first important opportunity in the health sector. Since then, Ellen has gone from strength to strength, as the company itself has continued to grow, becoming Telefónica Tech UK&I in 2018 after the acquisition by the leading digital transformation company.
In her personal life, Ellen is also a mother of two and alongside winning huge healthcare contracts, she has worked hard to find a healthy work/life balance over the years.
When asked what advice she would give to the younger generation of IT professionals, Ellen commented, “For someone new to the field, it is so important to demonstrate that tenacity and willingness to learn. In the fast-paced ever-changing world of IT, it’s crucial to keep up to date with the industry. At this stage in my career, I still continue to absorb and learn new ideas through a fresh lens. Becoming a subject matter expert in your field is so important in any career and for healthcare, knowing the nuances of this vertical and their environment is crucial.”
“The IT industry is such an exciting one to be a part of but like any industry, it has its challenges. Our department operates 24 hours, 365 days a year. Working in the healthcare branch is an extremely rewarding job as you are helping so many people, but it is also a very pressurised job that brings huge responsibility. “Ensuring the delivery of digital clinical services really can make all the difference to someone’s life and bring them the necessary help in their time of need”.
This article appears in the latest edition of Ambition Magazine, an award-winning Northern Ireland business magazine published by NI Chamber, in partnership with the Ulster Tatler Group.