Dexter Hardy, the President & CTO of Ntegral Inc., holds a unique perspective on success. “Success is a journey, not a destination. As an organization, my goal is to be one percent better every day. With a long-term view, consistency will put us way ahead of all other organizations,” he declares.
Adapting and Innovating with a Pandemic-Driven Shift to Cloud Solutions
The inspiration behind Dexter’s venture into cloud-based solutions at Ntegral was the seismic shift brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As he says, “A little thing named ‘COVID’ forced me to rethink how we delivered value and consulting to our customers in a remote-only work environment. We focused on ‘Consulting 2.0,’ which is taking the IP that we had been delivering in person as consultants for our customers and creating products that enabled others to quickly deploy resources to the ‘cloud’.”
As Ntegral embraced “Consulting 2.0,” a concept that involved transforming their intellectual property into cloud-based products, the transition allowed their customers to swiftly deploy resources to the cloud. In April 2021, they launched their first product on Azure Marketplace. This bold move propelled Ntegral into the international stage, with customers hailing from over 100 countries.
Dexter firmly believes that challenges are opportunities in disguise. As an entrepreneur and business owner, he’s encountered numerous roadblocks along the way. These challenges have not deterred him but have fostered innovation and technological advancements within his company.
Strategic Vision and Values: A Journey of Innovation and Excellence
Ntegral, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, functions as an independent software vendor (ISV) and a management consulting firm. Its services encompass various industries, with technology serving as the backbone of modern business operations.
Established in 2002, Ntegral’s mission is to provide tailored solutions that drive technology transformation within clients’ enterprises, enhancing efficiency and security in their mission-critical processes. The company has maintained a strong partnership with Microsoft since 2003, consistently aiming to exceed client expectations and simplify their tasks.
Dexter’s expertise has been instrumental in Ntegral’s growth and success. The company specializes in automating the deployment of enterprise cloud business applications streamlining complex processes, making them more intuitive and accessible for clients.
“Our superpower is ‘Infrastructure as Code as a Service’ automation of Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Essentially automating Cloud DevSecOps and enterprise cloud business application deployments is our specialty. We take the complex task of deploying enterprise workload and solutions to the cloud and make the process more intuitive and easier to do,” Dexter explains.
Ntegral values integrity and honesty in all interactions, ensuring clients receive cost-effective and result-oriented solutions. It is dedicated to fostering a culture of integrity and innovation within its team. Dexter outlines the beliefs that guide the company as follows:
- Integrity and honesty guide all phases of the client and consultant relationship from the exploratory meeting to the final delivery
- Our specialized expertise ensures our clients obtain cost-effective, result-oriented solutions and services.
- Excellence is the hallmark in all our business interactions with suppliers, consultants, and most importantly our clients and customers.
Ntegral provides a full range of information technology and consulting services, ranging from custom application development and systems integration to cloud deployments. They have recently focused on cloud-based solutions and helping their clients and customers innovate by leveraging the cloud.
Empowering Generational Leadership as a Person of Color in Business
Dexter started his career at IBM and Accenture primarily focused on process improvement and Technical and System Architecture before starting Ntegral. This laid the foundation for his future endeavors. As a person of color in leadership, Dexter views his role in generational terms to help create leaders who, in turn, nurture more leaders. Empowering others is the true essence of leadership, ensuring a lasting impact.
“As a person of color, we have to think of leadership and development in generational terms. To be an effective leader and make an impact, we should define leadership as being a leader that creates leaders that build leaders. If our leadership and impact ends with us then our impact ends with us. We must empower others!” he insists.
Dexter’s exceptional leadership was recently recognized when his employees nominated him as the “2023 #empowerHERaccess Ally of the Year” for Women In Cloud. This acknowledgment highlighted his significant influence and support within the organization. “Being selected as a finalist for this award was a humbling and rewarding recognition as a business leader. Given that I wasn’t aware that I had been nominated made me aware of the impact that I have on my employees,” he reflects.
Revolutionizing DevOps and DevSecOps with a Business-Centric Approach
Looking to the future, Dexter envisions Ntegral’s “Simba” product, Infrastructure as Code as a Service (IaCaaS), as a groundbreaking innovation. His vision emphasizes reimagining DevOps and DevSecOps to focus on achieving business outcomes, automating IaC, adopting a business-centric approach, offering user-friendly solutions, scalability, competitive advantage, education and adoption, and measuring success.
Dexter aims to address the evolving needs of the DevOps and DevSecOps space, ultimately driving efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness for clients. Here are some key points he emphasizes:
- Reimagining DevOps and DevSecOps: My vision aims to revolutionize how DevOps and DevSecOps are traditionally approached. Instead of just focusing on the technical aspects, I want to shift the emphasis towards achieving business outcomes.
- IaC Automation: The “Simba” product’s focus on automating and scaling a company’s ability to deliver solutions is highly valuable. This can significantly improve efficiency and reduce the learning curve associated with traditional IaC frameworks and technologies.
- Business-Centric Approach: By prioritizing business outcomes, we’re aligning technology efforts with the strategic goals of the organization. This approach can lead to better decision-making and more effective use of resources.
- User-Friendly Solutions: Simplifying IaC for users who may not have a deep technical background can democratize its use within organizations. This can empower teams across various departments to leverage IaC without extensive training.
- Scalability: Enabling companies to scale their operations and solutions efficiently is crucial, especially in a rapidly changing business environment.
- Competitive Advantage: Offering a unique IaCaaS solution that focuses on business outcomes will set Ntegral apart from competitors and attract clients looking for a more strategic approach to DevOps and DevSecOps.
- Education and Adoption: It may be important to emphasize how your company will support clients in adopting and integrating “Simba” into their existing workflows. Providing training and support can be key to successful implementation.
- Measuring Success: Define metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the impact of our IaCaaS solution on clients’ businesses. Demonstrating tangible results will be important for building trust and attracting clients.
Overall, Dexter’s vision for Ntegral looks to address a growing need in the DevOps and DevSecOps space, where the focus on business outcomes can drive efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness for its clients. “It will be essential to execute our plan effectively and communicate its benefits clearly to potential customers,” he maintains.
A Resilient Leader Navigating Ntegral Towards Long-Term Success
In his role as President and CTO, Dexter defines himself as resilient. As the President and CTO of Ntegral, his role is crucial in setting the strategic direction and vision for the company. “Being the ‘North Star’ means that you provide the guiding principles and goals that steer the organization toward its long-term success,” he observes.
Dexter’s daily responsibilities involve setting the strategic direction, enhancing brand recognition, creating value for customers, providing effective leadership, promoting innovation, adapting to changes, maintaining a customer-centric approach, and empowering his team. These responsibilities collectively steer Ntegral toward long-term success. Here are some key points about his role:
- Setting Strategic Direction: My primary responsibility is to define the company’s long-term vision and goals. This includes deciding on the market positioning, growth targets, and the overall direction the company should take.
- Brand and Name Recognition: Increasing brand awareness and name recognition is essential for business growth. I do this through effective marketing strategies, branding efforts, and expanding your presence in the industry and market.
- Value Creation: Ensuring that our products or services consistently deliver value to our customers and clients is crucial. This not only retains existing customers but also attracts new ones through word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews.
- Leadership: As the leader of the organization, I must inspire and motivate our team to align with the company’s vision. Effective leadership is essential for driving the company forward.
- Innovation: Staying competitive and relevant in the market often involves innovation. Encourage your team to explore new ideas, technologies, and strategies that can set your company apart from competitors.
- Adaptability: The business landscape is ever-changing, and adaptability is key to staying relevant. Be open to adjusting your strategies as needed to respond to market shifts and emerging opportunities or challenges.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Keep customers at the center of your decision-making process. Understanding their needs and preferences is critical in providing value and building long-lasting relationships.
- Team Empowerment: Empower my team to contribute to the company’s success. Encourage them to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities and foster a collaborative and innovative work culture.
“By fulfilling these responsibilities, I can help Ntegral grow its brand and name recognition while providing ongoing value to our customers and clients, ultimately leading the company toward its strategic goals and long-term success,” says Dexter.
Balancing Business and Well-being: Commitment to Quality & Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders
Balancing personal and professional life is crucial for Dexter. He encourages a healthy work-life balance and a commitment to quality to ensure the sustained success of his business and allocates time for meditation and regular exercise to maintain focus and manage the stresses of entrepreneurship.
“Every day I take time to meditate and work out. Meditation and regular exercise are effective ways to help me maintain focus and help me to deal with the stress of being an entrepreneur. A healthy work-life balance and a commitment to quality can contribute to the overall success and sustainability of your business,” he remarks.
Dexter believes that focusing on providing quality services and products that add value for your customers is also a key principle of successful entrepreneurship. Prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering value is another cornerstone of his success, inspiring his team to do the same.
“By prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering value, I feel that we are more likely to build a loyal customer base and achieve long-term success. It’s important to lead by example, as you’re doing by integrating these practices into your daily routine and encouraging your team to do the same,” he says.
On a personal note, Dexter’s goals revolve around focusing on what’s essential, capturing the positive moments, learning from setbacks, and persevering. His message to aspiring black executive leaders is to adopt a generational perspective on leadership, one that empowers and builds leaders beyond themselves.
Success, according to Dexter, is a continuous journey of growth and impact, and he’s committed to paving the way for the next generation of leaders.
“Life is like a camera… Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out… Take another shot!” – Amit Sodha
In a dynamic world where business leadership constantly evolves, Dexter’s story shines as a beacon of resilience, innovation, adaptability, and the power of embracing challenges as opportunities. His visionary approach to transitioning into cloud-based solutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the transformative potential of adversity, ultimately leading to the creation of cutting-edge cloud solutions and an enduring commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders.
The concept of “Consulting 2.0” and the birth of Ntegral’s cloud-based products have not only propelled the company to international recognition but also paved the way for clients worldwide to harness the cloud’s power. Dexter’s resolute commitment to a generational approach to leadership, paired with his unwavering focus on delivering quality and value, exemplifies the path toward a lasting impact. As he continues to balance professional success with personal well-being, Dexter’s journey reminds us that success is not just an endpoint but an ongoing journey of growth, adaptation, and the empowerment of future leaders.