Scottish entrepreneur Angus MacSween is no stranger to the lucrative opportunities of helping businesses make most of the internet. In the aftermath of telecoms de-regulation in the mid-1980s, he cut his teeth installing cables and switches before turning his attention to running premium call services and internet service providers. In 1998 he started AIM listed IT managed services group Iomart Group (LON:IOM) – a company that delivered a 90% share gain for investors last year and one which, he says, is set to capitalise on a new era of the internet.

MacSween completed a Royal Navy Commission in 1983, just as British Telecom was being privatised, which eventually set the scene for his first big deal – the acquisition of online information service Prestel from BT Group (LON:BT.A) itself. He turned that business into one of the earliest ISPs, competing against the likes of Compuserve and Demon, before selling it to Scottish Telecom in 1996. Together with long-term business partner Bill Dobbie, he went on to start Iomart in 1998 as a fully licensed telco to provide ISP services. The company became the UK’s first high speed internet reseller through its Madasafish brand but increasingly competitive conditions were enough to inspire a strategy re-think.

Since then, Iomart has evolved to become one of Europe’s largest providers of managed hosting and cloud computing service providers. Among its peers on AIM are K3 Business Technology Group (LON:KBT) and Nexus Management (LON:NXS) . Its brands include Iomart Hosting, which runs data centres and server equipment; Easyspace and RapidSwitch, which host web space and servers and NetIntelligence, which deals with IT security and content management. The latest addition is Titan Internet, a server hosing business that was acquired last November for £4.2m. Together the businesses delivered a 36% rise in revenues to £11.4m in the half year to September 2010, with pre-tax profits doubling to £1.0m. The performance was enough to drive the company’s shares from 50p to 90p during the course of 2010. In an interview with Stockopedia, Angus MacSween explained why Iomart is well placed to capitalise on growing corporate interest in outsourcing IT systems.

Angus, you…

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