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Sherry Allen

Managing Director, Operate Services, Deloitte US

With over 25 years experience in IT and managed services, Sherry thrives on challenging the status quo and figuring out the right recipe for success when solving some of her client’s toughest problems. Read how she inspires clients and her teams to unlock their full potential through next-generation managed services.

Briefly, explain what you do at Deloitte.

Through Operate services, I work to enable people, processes, and technology that help clients achieve their business goals—from reducing cost and accelerating adoption of innovation, to improving service and driving value to their customers. I try to understand their challenges and where they’re headed, and then marry them with Deloitte’s suite of next-generation managed services to accelerate their journey.

How would you explain what you do to someone who knows nothing about Operate services?

Operate is a mix of hard-to-source talent, processes, and the latest technology tied to a long-term relationship with a client that helps them elevate their enterprise. This could include areas like IT, tax, advisory, and finance. We work with clients to understand their deep-seated operational problems and help them achieve their long-term goals.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

Most days, I’m onsite with our clients. Our delivery practitioners and I work hand-in-hand with clients in meetings and workshops. I’m constantly exploring opportunities to take clients to the next level, tackling a specific challenge or looking ahead at their future business objectives. I’m also intentional about getting to know our Operate people and supporting them. I meet with many of our practitioners daily to understand program updates, where they’re at in their careers, and what developmental support they may need.

How did you end up in Operate services?

I’ve worked for two other organizations over the past 25 years, and all roles have led to managed services. I’ve worked with clients around the world, across a spectrum of application management, infrastructure, and business processes in several industries. I’ve enjoyed the multi-faceted nature of defining relationships that are beneficial and helping clients meet their long-term business goals.

What excites you most about your role? Why do you do what you do?

I enjoy having the opportunity to listen to and work with clients—helping them with solutions that drive value. But one of my favorite things is working with our people. It’s a privilege working with Deloitte teams around the world. People from many different geographies, cultures, and working styles focused on a common goal. I enjoy learning from them as they lean in to serve our clients with a dedication that is inspiring and motivating.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging component is also the most fun—figuring out what solution, recipe, or right mix would be the most meaningful and impactful to a client. There are so many variables that go into the services we deliver, like the types of skills and capabilities people have, where they’re located, or the certifications or experiences they have. Bringing this together with the tools, technology, and innovation to propel solutions forward can be complicated but also fulfilling.

What's a common misconception about working in Operate services?

This is something I’m passionate about because there’s a huge misconception that Operate work isn’t challenging. It’s the complete opposite. There are so many avenues or engagements that span a client’s enterprise—whether you're supporting IT environments, different business applications, or working with on-premise or cloud infrastructures. In Operate projects, you get the freedom to be deeply involved across a client program and experience new domains. For example, if you’re an SAP practitioner you might have the opportunity to be a part of a team that delivers support for Salesforce and cyber work, too.

Not only are you challenged, but you also get the experience of developing professionally in a safe environment that’s in place to help you grow and evolve. My teams learn new technologies, gain new capabilities, and shift to different roles that offer them growth without having to leave a client program. We actively encourage practitioners to cross-skill and develop their knowledge within Operate.

What aspects of your career journey have taken you by surprise?

The journey itself has been a bit of a surprise. I always had this feeling that I was expected to know what I wanted to be and so I stumbled into IT and managed services and thought, “Okay, let’s start here.” When I look back on the inflection points of my career, I don’t think any of them were highly planned. And there were many moments where I put myself out there and many where I didn’t based on other things that were happening in my life, like growing my family. Each of those decisions have been super rewarding. So, I would say that being aware of what is happening around you—work and personal—and what’s important to you can really help guide your journey.

What do you like to do outside of work? And why is it so special to you?

My husband and I have four adult children who we enjoy time with. We love traveling—which is interesting because I’m on the road for work so often, but I still enjoy seeking out new experiences and cultures. There’s so much to explore! Anything and everything to do with the outdoors, like kayaking or hiking. We’re also complete foodies—so we enjoy good food and wine!


Note: The services and experiences described herein are intended to demonstrate Deloitte's experience and capabilities in these areas, however, due to independence restrictions that apply to audit clients (including affiliates), Deloitte is unable to provide certain services based on individual facts and circumstances. Therefore, the experiences and descriptions would not apply to services to audit clients.