Head of IT (Remote)

Job description

Location: Remote, UK based, as travel to our London hub will be required once a month.

Team: Engineering

As Ably enters its next stage of growth, we’re looking for talented and curious engineers to help us build and deliver the platform to power synchronized digital experiences in realtime for one billion devices every month by 2023.

Our everyday digital experiences are in the midst of a realtime revolution. Whether attending an event in a virtual venue, receiving realtime financial information, or monitoring live car performance data – consumers simply expect realtime digital experiences as standard. As such, synchronized data in realtime is now business critical for many organisations. Yet, at the same time, organizations don’t have the in-house capabilities nor the time to do this efficiently at scale. That’s where Ably comes in.

We provide a suite of APIs to build, extend, and deliver powerful digital experiences in realtime for more than 250 million devices across 80 countries each month. Organizations like Toyota, Bloomberg, HubSpot, and Hopin depend on Ably’s platform to offload the growing complexity of business-critical realtime data synchronization at global scale.

Working at Ably means helping to build the infrastructure and technology that will power and shape the future of the internet. The opportunity in front of us is immense. But we can’t rest yet. And we’d like your help.

To see what life’s like at Ably, check out our careers page at ably.com/careers and read the story of how Ably's core values came to be.

What we do

Ably’s IT team keep our distributed, remote workforce productive, safe and secure by ensuring we have everything we need from an IT perspective. That includes providing desktop hardware and equipment, managing and updating devices, designing and executing on some core business processes and more. Bring a remote-first team, we also rely heavily on our IT team to oversee a wide range of SaaS tools and applications to keep our team online and collaborating.

In this role

You will be responsible for Ably’s IT strategy as a whole and reporting into the COO. You are the primary decision-maker for IT policy and will be expected to ensure such decisions reflect Ably values while meeting the security and compliance requirements of our customers. The teams you support are highly technical and working on ever more challenging engineering problems. As such, ensuring their productivity while securing business assets and protecting customer data will test your ability to find good compromises and enact them through policy and processes. The company is also entirely Mac OS and Linux based right now, so technical skills will need to be cross-platform in nature.

You will need to be passionate about building an IT organisation that is passionate about creating a high-equality end-to-end employee experience. Other team members should love working with you and your team, and feel that getting them the right tools and equipment needed to do their jobs is always your priority. You’re an enabler and a catalyst for productivity, not just a gatekeeper.

This is also a people management role, as you will be leading a team of IT Associates. Their career development, support and mentoring will be an ongoing priority for you in this role.

Day to day, you will:
  • Coach and support your team of IT Associates.

  • Prioritise the IT operations backlog and assign work accordingly.

  • Write, review, update and improve IT processes and policy.

  • Analyse IT requirements of Ably teams and advise them on appropriate solutions.

  • Work with the Head of Security and Compliance to ensure IT processes meet necessary compliance requirements of our customers and keep business assets secure.

  • Advise the leadership team on all IT-related matters, including trends, opportunities and risks that you are monitoring.

  • Work with colleagues in finance to ensure effective use of the IT budget.

  • Manage an effective support and incident response capability within your team.

  • Support your team in onboarding and offboarding employees.

  • Co-own some core company infrastructure with the Security team (identity management, directory services, SSO).

  • Administer and support your team in managing many cloud-based tools and services. Everything we use is on the cloud!

  • Plan and manage IT projects and initiatives.


It would be great if you have:
  • Staff management and recruitment experience.

  • Experience managing IT operations in highly technical, and primarily remote, environment.

  • Experience of working in a cloud-based organisation, and primarily working with services from AWS and Google.

  • Experience implementing compliance policies and adapting business processes to correspond where needed.

It would be nice if you have:
  • Familiarity with SOC 2 and ISO 27001 and their impact on IT processes.

What’s it like to work at Ably?

Ably is entering a new phase of growth led by an experienced senior team. You’ll be part of a successful, highly motivated, and extremely collaborative team.

To provide the infrastructure required for the next generation of the internet, to tell the world about it, and to support everyone inside Ably to do so we hire people who are ready and capable of taking on challenging problems in a high-growth environment.

We want to work in a company of inclusive people who treat each other well. To really thrive at Ably, you’ll need to believe in and be prepared to do your work in line with our values, which are:

  • Open for all. Open is a mindset. When open, we’re better collaborators, communicators and creators. Whether open source, standards, or protocols, open hearts, minds, and eyes. It’s better when it’s open.

  • Bias for action. We avoid analysis paralysis at all costs. We lean into doing in order to move us forward. When we have enough of what we need to act, we act. 

  • Even the best do better. We want to be the best - but that doesn’t mean we rest when we are. Improvement and growth  - true betterment - is an ongoing journey. One fuelled by curiosity and taking risks. 

  • Technology needs humanity. Our technology means little without people - whether that’s how we treat our colleagues, or how we design developer experiences. Being human matters.

  • Dependable people make dependable things. Dependability is integral to our mission and technology, but being dependable starts with our people. When we care enough to take real ownership of our products and problems - all else will follow. 

  • Bold creativity leads to the greatest rewards.  When viewed through a different lens, what stands in the way can become the way. The bigger the challenge the easier the choice: bold creativity will always move us forward, create better outcomes, and set us apart.

What’s in it for you?
  • A great company culture

  • Share options

  • The chance to learn and grow with a fast-moving company, supported by a learning budget that gives you access to professional training, events, conferences, workshops etc.

  • Remote first: Unless you want to pop into our communal office space in Shoreditch, London, you’ll work from home most of the time, apart from when we have planning sessions and Summits. Travel to the office is at the employee's expense, apart from when we have Ably Summits

  • Your choice of high quality tech kit to work on

  • Home workstation set up budget of £500, plus an annual top-up of £150

  • Regular company away days and social events

  • Friday need-to-know drinks and snacks

  • Private health insurance, including Doctor@Hand

  • Access to private and confidential coaching with Sanctus

  • 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme with AXA

  • A monthly wellbeing budget with Juno

  • 25 days of paid annual leave (33 days including bank holidays)

  • 10 days of paid sick leave (including mental health days) per year

  • Dog friendly office for when you’re in the office!

If you enjoy working as part of a technology company, value open source, and love solving hard problems - then we’d love to hear from you, regardless of whether you fit the job description exactly or not. If in doubt, drop us an email; we’d be more than happy to give you some advice on your application.

We believe our differences as individuals is what makes us great. Our people are at the heart of what we do, and we encourage everyone to be their most authentic self at Ably: we see inclusivity and openness as fundamental to creating long-term success as an organization. We encourage applications from all backgrounds regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, race, religion, educational background or neurodiversity. Ably has an amazing opportunity ahead of us, and we want anyone to be able to contribute to that opportunity.