Wolters Kluwer invests as much as 10 per cent of its revenues into innovation and research every year
Preparations are well under way for the UK IT Industry Awards 2021 at Computing: the Battersea Events Arena is booked, the menu has been chosen and the entertainment is tuning up. Our guests, too, are getting ready for the big night on the 10th November, including Best Place to Work in IT finalist Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK. Simon Kershaw, the company's director of technology, took time to talk to us about the company, its achievements and what it's been working on this year that secured it a spot at the industry's biggest awards event.
Computing: Who is Wolters Kluwer?
Simon Kershaw: Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK is a leading provider of software solutions and expertise that helps tax, accounting and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses, and advise clients with speed, accuracy, and efficiency
CTG: How are you different from your peers?
SK: The technology employee experience is something that many companies overlook. If technologists come to work engaged, motivated and happy, we can function better together, deliver faster and with the exceptional quality that we always aim to deliver to our customers. We constantly ask ourselves how to create a superior level of employee experience. How do we generate, particularly in this COVID world, truly amazing technology employee experiences to keep our employees engaged and happy and delivering? Yes, it's about collaborative tools, but it's also about the way we work and the processes that we use to deliver software. It's important that I, as a leader in my organisation, create an environment that is, primarily, engaging to people and one that also ensures we are delighting our customers at the same time.
CTG: What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?
SK: Our ongoing focus on people and innovation. We want to innovate and automate to deliver an exceptional experience for our customers and our people. We back this up with an 8 - 10 per cent investment of revenues back into innovation and research each and every year. Our people are creative and experimental and I love that. We love a bit of healthy competition and each year, there's heated debate on the judging panels of our Code Games competition and our annual Innovation Awards.
Lots of training is available internally, and we fund a robust amount of external courses too. Our Project Novus innovation initiative is crowdsourcing ideas from across the business AND our customers with the simple aim of identifying ideas that either make life better for our customers, our people or both. We give our people every opportunity to investigate and explore their ideas, take risks and, in many cases, bring those ideas to life.
This is such an exciting time for us as we're transforming to become a SaaS business, so it's a great chance for our colleagues to get stuck in and, for anyone interested in tech, an invigorating and exciting place to be!
CTG: What are you working on this year?
SK: As mentioned above, we are in the process of transforming to become a SaaS business. Future-ready accountancies are looking for ways to future-proof their practices for stronger growth and higher efficiency. Technology, and specifically the opportunity to explore what the cloud has to offer, is a big part of that.
Accounting practices are redefining business continuity, which demands efficient connectivity and workflows in today's remote working environment. The cloud is well-positioned to support UK practices as they navigate today's changing economic conditions and will act as the foundation for collaboration as they explore new ways to improve and diversify their practice offerings going forward.
CTG: Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?
SK: The extraordinary growth of the UK's tech sector is lauded around the world as a model that new tech hubs seek to emulate. We're in a perfect position to provide an example of what a diverse, and inclusive tech ecosystem looks like - one that provides equal opportunities to digital skill accessibility. Events like the UK IT Industry awards are tremendously important to champion and recognise our existing verticals, and to drive forward emerging verticals like AI, cybersecurity, and e-commerce.
As an IT organisation, we're proud to be recognised for providing an amazing technology employee experience in a working environment that promotes innovation, collaboration, and career development. Being shortlisted in the Best Place to Work in IT category of the BCS/Computing UK IT Industry Awards is a real testament to the work our technology leadership team has put into creating such a positive, creative, and inclusive working culture.