"Success is built on delivering outstanding customer experience – and we never forget that."
As society emerges from years of pandemic, IT finds itself ever more central to our personal and working lives, and IT professionals have never been more crucial to the functioning of businesses and society. The UK IT Industry Awards are designed to celebrate and promote the organisations, teams, projects, technologies and individuals who have given so much, and those who continue to help shape the future of IT, our industry and digital society.
Owned and operated by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Computing, the awards enjoy a level of professionalism and industry knowledge not seen at other shows.
This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 9th November in London.
One of the finalists is Creative ITC, which has reached the shortlist for two categories: Services Company of the Year and Cloud Innovation Provider of the Year.
We talked to Keith Ali, Group MD at Creative ITC, to find out why he thinks his company deserves to win.
Keith sets Creative Group's strategic direction, enabling clients to digitally transform for continued growth and profitability. Previously head of technical strategy at Cisco, Keith also spent eight years overseas running IT departments throughout APAC and the US. A chartered engineer and passionate technologist, Keith is driven by how IT can be applied to positively affect the Creative ITC's entire economic future.
Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.
Keith Ali: Creative ITC is a privately-owned UK IT infrastructure and cloud enablement company, delivering exceptional solutions across five continents. Our managed services and cloud solutions are all developed in the UK and tailored to meet the needs of clients in fast-moving industries like construction, healthcare and finance, to help them achieve their business objectives sooner. Success is built on delivering outstanding customer experience - and we never forget that.
What makes you different from other technology companies?
KA: Lots of businesses say they have 'customer-first approach' - but when push comes to shove, what does that actually mean? What makes Creative stand out from the crowd is how truly embedded that ethos is in our culture. We don't just talk the talk - we walk the walk. We've built a team that really cares about helping our company and our clients flourish.
A shining example is when a client recently experienced a major critical incident. Within one hour, we had five volunteers giving up their weekend to work through the night - both remotely and on-site - to help them resolve the issue. Unhampered by red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy, our 24/7 hands-on support continued until everything was resolved, and we've worked alongside them to ensure a smooth road to recovery. Put simply, we all felt it was the right thing to do.
What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?
KA: While I'm immensely proud of Creative's continued growth, the achievement that really stands out for me does so not because of the financials involved. Our contract win with SNC-Lavalin was our company's largest deal to date - but more importantly for me, it's also clear evidence that our business strategy is paying off.
We've carved out a niche in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector, developing a portfolio of solutions tailored specifically to help companies meet a unique set of industry challenges. I'm incredibly proud our approach is taking Creative from strength to strength. Our unparalleled AEC expertise enabled us to take on the big boys in this competitive deal. SNC-Lavalin saw the value of partnering with Creative, choosing David over multiple industry Goliaths.
What are you working on this year?
KA: We're continuing to develop our range of solutions to help clients overcome mounting challenges as the marketplace and technology continue to evolve.
Growing demand for IT systems that are easier and cheaper to own and manage is behind the shift towards Everything-as-a-Service. We understand that XaaS solutions need to not only align with future needs but also dovetail seamlessly with existing IT investments.
To help clients overcome obstacles with modernising IT systems, we've developed a Modern Application Platform (MAP), designed to de-risk legacy system updates while stretching budgets through container orchestration and performance improvements. MAP provides customers with a single-stop solution for updating older software to the very latest languages and frameworks, while carefully arranging and simplifying scary and costly cloud transitions.
Hot on the heels of infrastructure virtualisation, application virtualisation is now snowballing. Yet compute and storage - and therefore virtualisation - are coming ever closer to the edge. This increases the need for greater workload mobility, automated operations, and improved performance and availability of resources.
These are some of the main drivers behind our focus on developing more tailored, scalable solutions for customers, building on our successful history of delivering exceptional managed services.
Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?
KA: The UK IT Industry Awards highlight the positive impact IT has on business and celebrate the very best of our home-grown talent - the people who are truly changing the world through innovative technology.
We're proud to be a home-grown UK IT business punching well above our weight on a global stage. Supporting our customers' success through digital transformation has always been at the heart of Creative and we're delighted to be shortlisted for two awards this year, showcasing the expertise and achievements of the entire Creative team.