"Everyone at Ciklum believes in a philosophy of relentless improvement"
The effort of entering an industry award can be a real strain for a company, especially when the event is as prestigious as the UK IT Industry Awards. You know your entry will be read by a panel of expert independent judges, and compared to some of the highest-performing companies in your area of expertise - and at the end of the path is that chance to claim victory in front of your peers and customers.
But it's not all stressful, says Sam Rapley, SVP of global delivery at UK IT finalist Ciklum. He believes the self-reflection required by the entry process can be just as rewarding as actually winning the prize.
We talked to Sam to find out more about he and the company have handled the last 12 months.
Computing: What is Ciklum all about?
Sam Rapley: Ciklum is a leading global product engineering and digital services company, headquartered in the UK and serving a global range of Fortune 500 and fast-growing organisations with tailor-made digital solutions.
We specialise in enabling digital transformation for household names and challenger brands alike. More than 4,000 software developers, designers, product managers and data scientists around the world work tirelessly to deliver the solutions modern businesses demand, from data and analytics, through automation and security, to managed service provision and much more.
We're proud to serve more than 350+ clients worldwide, with more than 200 client teams working to serve their needs, and over 100 developer events every single month ensuring that we stay at the cutting edge of business technology and innovation.
CTG: What makes you different from other technology companies?
SR: The pace of change in the digital economy is accelerating - and so are we. Everyone at Ciklum believes in a philosophy of relentless improvement, so we can stay one step ahead of the game - and so our customers in competitive marketplaces can, too. It will be the businesses who evolve, develop, iterate and innovate that will be the leaders of the future. Supported by our accelerators and methods that unlock innovation, we empower them to pursue the extraordinary.
CTG: Which company achievement from the last 12 months are you most proud of?
SR: There are many to choose from; for example, launching a used car platform in under six months to allow a startup to take advantage of this booming market. But probably the biggest achievement is the initiation and progression of a digital transformation project for one of the leading and most-recognised travel businesses in the world. The business, spanning airlines, travel agencies, hotels, cruise ships, retail outlets and more, had already been pursuing digital transformation for five years before we got involved.
With our help, the entire project was ramped up, so the whole business was onboarded and a new enterprise platform used by millions of people worldwide was launched in record time. The client's feedback was entirely positive, and they were particularly pleased at our iterative approach working in such a tight timeframe, and the significant value-add they achieved by scaling the transformation business-wide.
CTG: What are you working on this year?
SR: This year, we are continuing to work with our clients to redefine industries and reshape the ways we all live. We have finalised the process of creating our Centres of Excellence, which bring together Ciklumers from all over the world to share best practices, support, advice, industry knowledge and more, developing a strong community in the process. We've also supported the globalisation of delivery centres, increasing sector relevance and continuing to create value at pace for our clients, from startups through to Fortune 500.
We're working tirelessly to find new and ever more ingenious and efficient ways of solving the problems that modern businesses face today - and the problems they might face tomorrow.
CTG: Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?
SR: Entering any kind of independent professional awards competition can take up a lot of time and resources within a business, which can pose some challenges as a result. However, the payback far outweighs the effort needed to take part, and awards recognise the hard work and achievements of employees and team members, which positively influences team morale and motivation.
But the effort is not just worthwhile from the perspective of whether a company wins or not - some of the advantages can be more valuable than the prize itself. The application process for entering an award can force a business to look at itself, or a particular project, from a new perspective. This can help prompt new consideration of ways to do things better and identify areas for improvement for the business as a whole, the project or for the individual themselves.