We’re closing out the month of July with one of our favorite segments: The Acorio Spotlight.
Each month, we sit down with one employee to find out a little bit about them and their journey with Acorio and ServiceNow. This July, we got the chance to chat with Eric Lewis, a Senior Principal on the Acorio Advisory team.
The 15-Second Elevator Pitch: Eric Lewis
With over 30 years of IT and corporate experience, Eric Lewis is passionate about transforming organizations. Whether it’s your culture, technology, or processes, he is eager to help businesses improve their daily functions so they can become more efficient and effective to thrive in today’s challenging and ever-changing landscape.
What made you begin your career in IT?
I actually stumbled into IT – I was a finance major in college, and had every desire to go to law school with a focus in mergers and acquisitions. But during my second year at Ohio State, I got an internship working at CompuServe working in their financial services group. So, while working with financial data and building models, I also had to learn to become a programmer – as an intern, none of the full-time employees had the time to help me learn, so I just had to teach myself!
But I learned the value of programming, which at the time helped me do aspects of my internship faster and more efficiently so I could be more productive. So, not too far of a cry away from what it’s still enabling people to achieve today.
You spent a long time working in-house at various companies, why the switch to consulting?
My politically correct answer? I was looking for opportunities to do something different.
My truth? I really wanted to get outside of the “corporate side” of work – I had been in it for long enough to see its flaws and experience my fair share of personal frustrations around corporate politics. I just knew I needed the change so I could accomplish the level of work I pride myself in, without sacrificing my ethos.
How did you stumble upon Acorio?
I’ve known Grant Pulver [Acorio’s VP of Client Exectives] for many years, we’ve worked together in a couple of positions – so I became aware of Acorio through him. Ironically, Acorio was short-listed as a vendor at my last organization – so I was nearly I client.
At the time, there had been a lot of changes going on at my organization that I wasn’t fully on board with, and I really liked Acorio – what they represented, where they were going, and they just so happened to be starting up this advisory function, so I just reached out. A month and a half later, I was onboarding.
If you were speaking to a family member or on holiday, how would you describe Acorio’s Advisory team to someone who isn’t familiar with Acorio or ServiceNow consulting?
We help clients who spend a lot of money on a software package get the value for their investment. And through that technology, we help them be more efficient. For me, it’s my role to be my clients’ trusted advisor – help them understand their organization, what their goals are, and, ultimately, how to achieve that through specific recommendations tailored to their organization’s unique journey.
You joined Acorio right at the start of COVID-19, what was it like pivoting and consulting during the pandemic?
It was a journey. I started the first week of March 2020. Two weeks later, everything was shut down. I had to quickly adapt to not only understanding my clients – but also Acorio – in a time of a lot of change and uncertainty.
For the first six months, it was a lot of drastic change. I had to learn how to reinvent myself, adjust, and refocus – but, at the core, that’s what being a consultant involves. You need to continually evolve and want to learn, or else you’re just harming yourself and your clients.
And as someone who is also a people manager here at Acorio, I am always striving to help my people problem-solve. Good managers may point you in the right direction, but a good leader will be right there with you, helping you problem solve. I have a little plaque on my desk that’s been with me for years that reads, “the sky’s the limit for what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit” and I think that’s a great sign of being a leader.
You’ve had a very long-standing career in IT, so what was your first experience with ServiceNow?
I’ve been using ServiceNow since 2012 in various capabilities – everything from change manager to ITSM roles, to the owner of the platform.
I love the progression the Now Platform has taken on. They have a great vision. But I’m very cautious of saying I tie my career to it. And that’s something I like about Acorio’s advisory team. While we’re ServiceNow focused, we go beyond the platform in what will truly help organizations.
For example, right now I am working with a client who asked us to evaluate their platform because they’re having a lot of technical challenges, but, when you get to the core of what those technical challenges are, it’s mostly a strategy and organizational problem.
Nine times out of ten, it’s not the platform that’s the problem it’s that you have poor processes, lack of executive support, or a faulty organizational set-up. It’s things outside the ServiceNow platform. Coming to Acorio, it’s given me a chance to share my experience in dealing with organizational change and design, developing strategy, and focusing groups on looking at risk, and ultimately, outside the platform itself.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Getting to the right level of people in the organization to make the change. I wrote an eBook about 6 months ago, and there were 6 things I talked about that lead to platform failure.
- Leadership support
- Organizational alignment or lack of governance
- Process Problems
- Platform Maintenance
- Inability to Evolve
What are some goals of yours?
Just to do a little better at my job every day than I did the day before. I want to contribute to the success of an organization.
The second would be to help lead transformation efforts for organizations and talk to the leaders than can ignite change.
Last Question – for fun – what are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I am a cyclist, I love endurance cycling, so 100+ mile rides, and the mental preparation you have to do for that. I love reading books about history; I think there are a lot of lessons you can learn from the past! Last is photography – and the attention to detail it relies on. I guess all my hobbies are really things that can relate to the business world that I live in.