BridgeHead Software 25th Anniversary – an interview with Gareth Griffiths

BridgeHead Software celebrates its milestone 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, we sat down with one of the founding members of BridgeHead, our Executive Director and Product Manager for the RAPid™ Data Protection Suite, Gareth Griffiths, to find out what motivates him to continue solving customer problems after over 30 years in healthcare.

How has healthcare data management changed since you founded BridgeHead?

25 years ago in healthcare, siloed working practices were common; and computer systems had little overall co-ordination across healthcare organisations. Today, the consolidation of healthcare and the vast improvements in interoperability mean that practitioners now have better access to data, which allows them to make quicker and more informed decisions resulting in better patient care.

Performance expectations have also grown in line with the explosion of data in the last 25 years. If you think back a quarter of a century, a hospital that had access to old x-Ray films within 24 hours was considered to be doing well. In healthcare settings today, if the same data is not on screen and available to clinicians within seconds, there is a problem. The power of information technology has changed beyond all recognition allowing us to do a lot more with the same (or, at most, marginally more) staff.

What drives you forward to do the best for customers every day?

As we face growing data threats in healthcare, it is encouraging to know that our solutions are out there protecting customers from disaster. In the event that the worst does happen, we can help them recover quickly so they can continue to care for patients. This alone pushes me forward every day.

We are also fortunate in that we see the work we do has a demonstrable impact on how efficiently and effectively clinicians can treat patients – that is exactly what motivates us.

Standout customer moment?

The silence in the room when I had to take a call during a customer meeting and then explained we had just done a system restore in 40 minutes. I did not realise at the time that the prospective customer had been down for three days trying to restore with another supplier – we soon closed that sale.

Most memorable moment with BridgeHead?

In the early days of BridgeHead, I literally spent the night sleeping on the floor of a temporary datacentre in a customer’s car park, monitoring a disaster recover. Thankfully, the systems were back up and available the next morning.

What technology has excited you the most in the last 25 years

It’s almost impossible to select just one, but storage arrays, virtual machines, the replacement of spinning disks for flash, cloud and hyperconverged operations; have all come in and changed the nature of data management in healthcare for the better.

How has your role changed over the years?

When BridgeHead started out, operating a smaller organisation meant my role was wide and varied – you do everything from the washing up to writing code. As the business has grown, the role has changed from knowing every small detail, to managing the bigger picture. BridgeHead now has a wealth of experts and a depth of knowledge that has allowed me to be more strategic and focus my attention on understanding technology trends. I am no longer the best expert in many areas, but I retain the understanding of how it all works so I can see the broader view and how we can further develop the solution in line with evolving customer expectations. Consequently, I now spend more time talking to but, even more important, listening to our customers and technology partners.

What are your hopes for the healthcare industry?

We need to get better at prevention and early detection by really making the best use of the available data.

Describe what BridgeHead means to you

Great people with a belief in doing the right thing. BridgeHead is a great place to work.

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