Atlanta Spotlight | Terry Gates

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Thursday, 31 July 2014 02:58

By Jon Huggins

Terry Gates is a seasoned IT strategist with over 35 years of experience in the industry. Serving as the Vice President of Enterprise Architecture, he leads a team for the management and implementation of IT Infrastructure at MedAssets. His influence includes innovating by developing MedAsset’s Data Center, technology lifecycle management, and adhering to governance/standards. Prior to joining MedAssets, Terry had served as CTO for Fulton County government. Under his tenure, Fulton County went from unranked to ranked and (tied) number 2 for all counties in the United States by the National Center for Digital Government. This ranking was based on the proficiency of digital interactions between government and citizens.  Throughout his career, Terry has shown a proven record of success in leadership for Fortune 150 enterprise architectures and strategy engagements, driving IT Architecture and Cloud implementations.

About MedAssets

MedAssets was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. The company provides services to hospitals to expand their revenue limitations. The Spend and Clinical Resource Management (SCM) division is its largest, with almost 65% of sales. This division operates a group purchasing organization (GPO) that negotiates lower prices on medical supplies and devices for hospitals and health systems. The company's Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) division provides software and consulting services that help track and analyze a hospital's revenue stream. Such services aim to increase collections and reduce account balances. MedAssets' customers include four out of every five hospitals in the United States and about 100,000 non-acute health providers mainly in the United States.

Where were you born?

Seattle, Washington.

What were some of your interests growing up?

I was always very interested in motor sports, mechanics, and the ways that things worked. By 12 years old I was actively pursuing a passion for motorcycles. It taught me a lot about mechanics and for the IT industry it was a good entry point.

Tell me about your early career- lessons learned?

I was always willing to go the extra mile and volunteer for projects that had high visibility. This approach always led to successes. My biggest lesson was that I was offered an opportunity to move to Atlanta for a better position with more room for upward mobility. Per the advice of my father, “You only get those opportunities every so often in life” and I had to take it. My career path went twice as fast by moving to Atlanta rather than if I would have played it safe.  If you close the door to an opportunity you will never know what is on the other side.

What do you like about your current position?

I have had a lot of leadership IT operations roles, but the architecture role is one where you can still be entrepreneurial. With this role you can come in and identify a problem set, develop a solution, and see it implemented to make a difference. Unlike support and maintenance, architecture allows me to look at the current state, where things are moving, and what are the right building blocks to put the company on a path towards more innovation.

What makes MedAssets a successful company?

Quite a few things. Our executive team has a very effective vision and they have the company going in the right direction. The marketplace that MedAssets is in is very strong. Being a high growth acquisition company brings challenges with keeping up with the demand curve. Software as a Service (SaaS) in the healthcare sector is a sweet spot and the solutions assembled from acquired companies by MedAssets are well placed in the overall success of the company.

How is the culture of MedAssets?

A very positive culture. MedAssets is true to our core values: Compassion, Confidence, Character, and Commitment. We also work with affiliations such as Hire for Heroes in which we partake in public service and the hiring of our American military veterans.

What do you see in the future for MedAssets?

With ever changing environments in healthcare, there are opportunities for MedAssets. We will be focused domestically and continue to be innovative, especially as a market leader in healthcare SaaS. We continue to have a vison for our solutions… On the IT side of things, keep the environment stable, improve performance for the user experience and strategically have a product mix that is cutting edge to maintain market lead.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

My wife and I like to go to the lake and ride jet skis. Being a lifetime motorcyclist I take some trips in the mountains and still compete in races. Most guys my age are long since retired but I still do some vintage motocross racing. I competed seriously between the years of 2000-2005 and won 5 national championships while I was a consultant and was able to travel extensively. Now it’s just recreation and sharing the fun with my wife.

Secrets to success?

Don’t be adverse to changes in IT. Adapt. Volunteering for differentiator projects when I started off behind technically really helped me grow. That led to increased visibility and opportunities within the market and recognition within the organization. Be able to sacrifice time to continually learn and invest in yourself.


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