IFS Connect: Moffat will lead “evolution, not revolution”

IFS CEO Mark Moffat and UKI MD Stephanie Poore | IFS Connect: new CEO Moffat will lead into “evolution, not revolution”

The fresh leadership changes of the IFS team – seeing Mark Moffat heading the company and Stephanie Poore promoted to managing director UKI, among others – spell for a tangible spring in the company’s step.

Last week, ERP Today was invited to the IFS Connect conference in Birmingham to see the enthusiasm of the leadership team firsthand. But, what’s clear for now, is that the change of hands won’t come with a complete overhaul of the company’s direction or strategy.

Previous CEO Darren Roos had the fundamental role of transforming IFS from a mixed bag of an ERP vendor into a largely cloud-based SaaS one, selling recurring subscriptions. Now Moffat, who took the helm from his previous chief customer officer role, is pledging to build on the company’s progress by keeping his ear to the ground (and close to its customers) at all times.

As spelled by Moffat in his opening remarks delivered in a relaxed and friendly fireside chat with Poore, IFS is headed for “an evolution, not a revolution”.

“Any good strategy evolves and iterates over time, and a big part of my job is to figure out what are the things that made us special, what are our strengths as an organization? What are customers telling us, what are our partners telling us? And respond to what’s in front of us as an organization, as a collective community,” Moffat said.

His “collective community” commitment to the 500 attending partners of the ecosystem was accompanied by Moffat’s ambitious pledge to meet 100 customers in 100 days. The CEO even jokingly invited conversations with anyone who wanted to meet him after the session, emphasizing the importance of discussing “not just the good news stories, but what needs to improve” as well.

Looking ahead, Moffat shared his plan to spend 50 percent of his time meeting customers and talking matters from a delivery perspective, discussing what has gone live and thinking about what’s next for their solutions.

Amid the progressive growth and change of leadership, these sentiments from the new CEO have aimed to address user concerns that IFS will lose its customer centricity as the company scales further.

Doubling down on his user-centric message during the fireside chat, Moffat reinforced: “We’ll always be [customers-centered]. With a $1.5bn top-line revenue this year, I can tell you that we are as customers-centered as we’ve ever been, and we will fiercely protect that proximity that we have as an executive team. And throughout, it’s really important to us as staff that we do that.”

The CEO also emphasized that the company will remain focused on the same six industries – namely service; aerospace and defense; telecoms; construction and engineering; energy, utilities and resources; and manufacturing. Plus, looking to differ from other vendors, the IFS team has stated it has no plans to retreat from aerospace and defense and will remain “relentlessly focused to improve paths for all”.

But, at a time when still in the turbulent economic climate, very few industries are majoring on growth and many are reducing operating expenses, where does IFS sit for value add? Catching an aside with Moffat, he told ERP Today that IFS’ services are mostly in demand to help organizations with tasks like bettering logistics management, reducing fuel consumption through optimization and improving uptime from an assembly plant perspective.

With generative AI also standing higher or non-IT board members’ agendas, the CEO shared that more CIOs and CTOs “are under more pressure than ever to think quite radically about how they make themselves AI-capable”. It’s a pain point that the vendor is also assisting with as Moffat explained, “where businesses don’t have the right data integrity, that’s really hard to do”.

Elsewhere at the conference, the leadership team voiced its excitement about the collaboration with the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), one of the company’s major partnerships that Moffat has been heavily involved in since first joining the company in 2022.

Having become a patron of the renowned research center, IFS announced it can now introduce its customers to participate in research projects and apply some of the results in its product development.

With big promises made to continue to evolve, rather than revolutionize IFS, it seems Moffat taking the helm hopes to be a natural continuation of IFS’ growth under Roos. Fresh and focused, this leadership looks likely to further propel IFS into the next era of serving its customers in the best way possible.