Celebrating 20 Years 2003 – 2023: A Look Back

Celebrating 20 Years 2003 - 2023
2023 marks a milestone for Macnamara, at 20 years since the company was founded, way back in 2003, by Ciaran, with a view to bringing the world of enterprise IT to the SME market. In 20 years a lot has changed in technology, but that same commitment to outstanding service hasn’t. We take a look back at some of the history of the company and how we ended up where we are today.


This year also marks a bit of a milestone for myself too, having worked for the company for an (astonishing) 15 years. I joined Macnamara (then called Lynx Computing) in March 2008. I had completed my degree from Warwick Business School in 2002 and after completing one mind numbingly dull application for Jaguar in Coventry, decided I wouldn’t bother doing any more for a bit. I hadn’t taken a gap year before university, and so I decided to do what any graduate would sensibly do instead and join a band (something which, incidentally, I still do).

After a few years gigging and working in retail, including managing a few Starbucks stores in North London, I decided the time was right to learn something new. So, I enrolled in some evening classes in IT and passed some exams in administering Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Simpler times - Windows XP and Server 2003 were an incredible pairing, back in the day
Simpler times Windows XP and Server 2003 were an incredible pairing back in the day

It was around this time I met Ciaran who happened to be looking to take on another member of staff to accompany the one other employee he had at the time. As with most education and training, real life is seldom like the textbooks! I started off with the basics; password resets, software installs, printer troubleshooting. That kind of thing. Oh yes, and trying to fix failed backups to old tapes. Great fun.

We had none of the monitoring or other tools we have today either. If someone called in and reported that they couldn’t send an email, it could have been caused (at least it seemed to me at the time) by pretty much anything. Maybe the PC was offline, maybe the server, or their internet connection was down, or something else entirely. That stood me in good stead for the future though, as back then you needed a really good grasp of how things worked. There were no alerts to tell me specifically that the internet was down or a server was offline. I just had to work it out.

And of course, everything was much SLOWER! Dial up broadband, computer memory and often disk space measured in Megabytes not Gigabytes, and less processing on a desktop PC than you would find in most smartphones today.

OK, so I haven't been working in IT this long but you get the idea!
OK so I havent been working in IT this long but you get the idea

Over the years, I developed my skills, and started to see significant changes. One of the biggest of course was the advent of Cloud Computing. There were times I was resistant; I had just started finding my way around Exchange (the email server software) and had learnt to configure and fix a few things, when Microsoft brought out the precursor to Office 365 (catchily titled ‘Business Productivity Online Suite or ‘BPOS’ – no wonder they re-branded). Ciaran announced this was the future and we started migrating everyone. I was annoyed! I had only just started to figure it out.

The precursor to Microsoft (Office) 365 - BPOS. Catchy name guys.
The precursor to Microsoft Office 365 BPOS Catchy name guys

Pretty soon, though, I was convinced. Any techies reading this who have ever had to fix an Exchange Server will know it’s not actually the most fun thing you can do in a production environment. And now we have all manner of things that seemed like science fiction at the time. Virtual PCs, Intel i9 processors, Software As A Service, Gigabit internet connections, and super-fast 5G mobile broadband to name but a few.

My IT journey has been at times challenging and frustrating, but what job isn’t? It’s never been dull though, and the pace of change means you can never afford to stand still. I also always thought I’d enjoy working in a small company than a large one, and while that comes with it’s own set of challenges and frustrations, for me the payoff has been far greater. The opportunity to develop the business as I’ve progressed through my career has been an opportunity I’d not change were I given the chance to do it again, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s just over the horizon.

Arthur C. Clarke famously said any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic. Impressive as current technology is, I don’t think we’re there yet. As ‘IT People’ what really drives us is understanding how things work, so the magic doesn’t really come into it. But with AI and tools such as ChatGPT (cited as perhaps the biggest single disruption in the industry since the launch of the iPhone) swiftly becoming the norm and making their presence known, magic might not be too far behind. Who knows what things will look like 20 years from now?

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