Positive impact: An interview with Viable Data, UK IT Awards finalist

clock • 5 min read
Positive impact: An interview with Viable Data, UK IT Awards finalist
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Positive impact: An interview with Viable Data, UK IT Awards finalist

"We have a focus on delivering projects that have a positive impact on society," says CEO Tom Fitzherbert

The UK IT Awards are sometimes called 'the UK's technology Oscars', and just like that star-studded event, making the shortlist for just one area is a great achievement. When a company reaches the finalist list in four different categories - as Viable Data has done this year - it is truly noteworthy. We talked to CEO Tom Fitzherbert about just what his firm has done to make it this far.

Tom Fitzherbert

Computing: Who is Viable Data?

Tom Fitzherbert: Viable Data has been providing award-winning expertise, insights and solutions to organisations operating across the UK and Europe since 2012. We have a focus on delivering projects that have a positive impact on society, whether by improving our client's use of data, modernising and increasing the accessibility of public services, through to enhancing UK defence and security systems.

As our name suggests, we place a great emphasis on leveraging data and use our data-centric approach to deliver a wide range of services, products, and solutions, from application development, data quality programmes, assurance and governance initiatives and complete digital transformations. We prioritise delivering continuous value and build long-term, trusted partnerships with our clients.

CTG: What makes you different?

TF: What really differentiates us from other companies is our drive to go above and beyond to deliver great products, services, and outcomes for our clients. We take on meaningful projects that deliver positive benefits to our society, and this really drives our people to make every Viable Data project the best it can be. This, in turn, drives our company's success in delivering excellent projects and building long and trusted partnerships with our clients.

We take a unique approach to how we support our clients in building and upskilling their in-house capabilities. We take an all-encompassing view when determining what success looks like for our clients, and believe that truly successful outputs are the ones that are easy to manage, are quickly scalable, and deliver long-term value. These goals are built into the foundation of all our projects, and we are incredibly proud to see teams we have built from the ground up become recognised as industry leaders, worldwide.

Another core belief for us is that our diverse and inclusive culture gives us an edge over the competition when it comes to developing solutions for our clients. We have built a diverse and inclusive company from the start. Having people from a wide range of backgrounds has given us a wider and more comprehensive approach, allowing us to capitalise on opportunities that benefit both our clients, end users and our people.

We knew that to achieve this we needed to build an environment that empowers people to deliver their absolute best while also supporting them both inside and outside of work. To do this, we take a people-first approach to business, embedding mentorship and providing dedicated training days and budgets for each person, enabling everyone to drive their career development in the direction they want.

CTG: What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

TF: Our biggest achievement in the last 12 months has been the rate at which we have been able to scale, doubling in size even within the challenging environment brough about by coronavirus. Most importantly we have been able to maintain our friendly, inclusive and collaborative culture, which has been possible thanks to everyone in Viable Data coming together as one team.

We have taken further steps to make sure we are providing support for our colleagues, extending our flexible working, and starting a new mentoring programme to support personal development and wellbeing. To ensure that our initiatives and approaches are delivering the intended benefits, we encourage everyone to provide feedback on these (both informally and via our employee feedback platform), and have had overwhelmingly positive responses to the improvements that we made and how we can continue to iterate these.

CTG: What are you working on this year?

TF: Since starting the company in 2012 we have developed a strong and loyal customer base due to our ability to deliver high-quality outcomes and deliver continuous value. This has been particularly successful this year and our focus has been on managing our growth successfully.

We have developed extensive best practice approaches and processes that enable us to successfully deliver challenging work that has a critical impact to national infrastructure and security. We want to take these valuable lessons learnt and high quality delivery capability and leverage them to deliver value in more client partnerships across the UK and Europe.  

Key to our growth is maintaining our ‘small company' feel as we scale, building on our excellent culture, high-performance teams and collaborative approaches. We believe this is why we have been able to continuously deliver high value outputs for our clients and as we grow and evolve. We want to continue to build on these aspects, supported by our people-first approach, as this is what makes us successful as a business.

CTG:Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

TF: Events like the UK IT Industry Awards provide numerous benefits for organisations working across the industry, as well as the industry itself. It's an excellent opportunity to give colleagues and teams the recognition they deserve, helping individuals feel valued by acknowledging their hard work and results.

It is also an excellent opportunity to commend businesses that are providing excellent results for their clients, encouraging suppliers and clients in the industry to reflect on where they have been successful and why, as well as highlighting the importance of new processes and technology approaches.

The UK IT Industry Awards return to their traditional home in Battersea Evolution on the 10th November, for what promises to be the best and brightest night of the technology calendar this year. Book your place now!

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