The State Journal recently interviewed IT Mindshare owner Jeremy Harris about his time in the military, his commitment to recruiting and nurturing great employees, and the ever-growing need for cybersecurity. Read the article below:
MORGANTOWN — With new digital threats evolving in parallel with everyday technology, the meaning of IT and the role it plays have also changed. That is where Monongalia County-based IT Mindshare comes in.
The firm was established by Army veteran Jeremy Harris, who served overseas specializing in electronic warfare and signals intelligence. After his service, he worked in the Washington, D.C., area as a technology manager before moving to Morgantown to set up his IT-oriented business, which he said was in far more demand than consulting alone.
“Our core services are IT support and IT consulting,” he said. “We do a lot in the security space. We have a phone company, web and graphic design and data cabling. The whole concept for us is to be a full-service IT department. We call it soup-to-nuts, from top to bottom, the whole thing.”
Harris said IT Mindshare has been in business for seven years and has 13 full-time employees.
“The goal when we started hiring people was that we wanted to build a really cool culture, and we spent a lot of time and a lot of effort making sure our employees have a great place to work,” he said, noting that high-caliber talent can be found at IT Mindshare. “That carries over into how we treat our clients.”
For example, the company’s vice president came from pharmaceutical giant Merck, and its lead engineer came from Amazon. Harris said he moved to the area because his wife is from West Virginia and they really like all that the state of West Virginia has to offer.
Many local businesses tend to look beyond the state’s borders for technology services, and in many ways that still holds true. IT Mindshare, he said, offers the same quality of service and expertise found elsewhere — it just happens to be located in the Mountain State.
“Security is deeply ingrained in our DNA here, and we have one of the best backgrounds in the security space,” Harris said, adding that expanded security services are one of the company’s biggest developments right now.
“We are currently going through a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) certification process. We are doing that to let our clients know —you can trust us, and we know how the HIPAA process works, so we can demystify this a little bit for you. We can intelligently speak at a simple level on ‘here’s what a data breach is, here’s how they can occur, here’s what you can do to prevent those from happening.’”
IT Mindshare specializes in business-to-business transactions, and it operates in several states in the region.
While local medical centers such as Mon Health and WVU Medicine aren’t on IT Mindshare’s list of clients yet, Harris said he hopes to one day change that when the HIPAA certification process is complete. That, he said, is essentially the pedigree needed to guard against patient data breaches at hospitals, which is one of the biggest cybersecurity concerns among health-care providers.
“Criminal Activity is something that, unfortunately, is not going away,” Harris explained. “This has been going on since the sword and the shield. You make a great sword; I make a shield; you make a better sword. The same is still true, it’s just carried over to the technology world now.”
He added that the same inviting attitude toward customers and the workspace also applies to the community, as the company engages in community and charity activities with organizations such as Operation Welcome Home out of Mylan Park.
In fact, IT Mindshare was named 2018’s Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration of West Virginia.
“That award means a lot to us,” Harris said. “It’s not some made-up award. It lets us know that we built something of value.”
IT Mindshare was nominated for the award by West Virginia Small Business Development Center coach Todd Crump, who said he was impressed by Harris’ drive to improve when they met four years ago.
“When I initially met him, I was impressed not only by his determination to keep his business growing but his determination to be part of the community,” Crump said. “He’s lived up to that. He’s added jobs from time I met him. I think he only had three or four employees. A lot of people are out to make a buck, and that’s not him.”
Crump said IT Mindshare is a prime example of beginning with a concept and building upon that and learning the skills needed to make a successful and growing business that’s a beneficial part of the community.
Jesse Bumps, a commercial lender for Clear Mountain Bank, was also a nominee for the award. Having worked with Harris and his company for years, Bumps said IT Mindshare is a true asset to the community that stands out even amidst the economic growth in the Morgantown area.
Bumps said he was also impressed by the firm’s ability to quickly master aspects of the business that fell outside their immediate expertise of technology, something that can’t be taken lightly.
“I was impressed by their resiliency,” he said. “If I had more customers that were as good as they are, my job would be a lot easier!”
If your business handles sensitive customer information, call IT Mindshare and let us evaluate your technology and security environment. We can keep the process simple, start with a free consultation and initial scan to let you know exactly what you need to do to better protect yourself. It all starts with a conversation, so call us at (304) 658-7600 today, or reach out online at itmindshare.com/consultation!