Interview: Adare SEC, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

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Andrew Herd, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Adare SEC
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Andrew Herd, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Adare SEC

"Our ability to provide secure, multi-channel communications at scale really sets us apart."

IT has grown in prominence over the last decade. No longer seen as a cost centre, it's now widely accepted that IT can boostcreativity, productivity and knowledge.

The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar. Owned and operated by Computing and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, 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 Adare SEC, which has reached the shortlist for three categories: Best Financial Services IT Project of the Year; Best Technology Refresh Project of the Year; and Best User Engagement Project of the Year.

We caught up with Andrew Herd, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Adare SEC, to find out what makes his company different from other technology firms.

Andrew is responsible for building and delivering Adare SEC's digital transformation strategy, driving revenue and EBIT growth through new product development and developing the technology and change capability to meet the future needs of the business. Andrew is accountable for leading an in-house and offshore team of nearly 110 technology and change specialists and providing oversight for all technology disciplines and the client and internal change portfolio.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

Andrew Herd: Adare SEC is the partner for customer communication management, helping clients in highly regulated sectors to deliver end-to-end, multi-channel communications at scale. In addition to many years of experience in transactional communications management, Adare SEC is fast establishing itself as the go-to expert for digital transformation, delivering a number of time-critical projects for clients across sectors such as retail, financial services, utilities and local government.

Adare SEC operates from highly secure production sites in Glasgow, Huddersfield and Leicester, with environmental and sustainability responsibilities to the fore.

What makes you different from other technology companies?

Our ability to provide secure, multi-channel communications at scale really sets us apart. We have the infrastructure and the expertise to deliver communication volume across both physical and digital channels. We also pride ourselves on in-depth industry and sector expertise, providing a holistic end-to-end service rather than boutique provision of single services.

The business was an early adopter of the industry leading Quadient digitalNOW! interactive communications platform, which powers client communications' digital transformation. So, we have this cutting-edge digital expertise alongside our traditional transactional print know-how. That's a major differentiator in the industry.

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

Nominating just one is too difficult. We are proud of the fact that Adare SEC is a trailblazer for the digitalNOW! platform. Indeed, we were the first organisation in the UK to adopt the platform and to be delivering successful client projects, and the platform played a key role in one of the applications for which we have been nominated.

We are also extremely proud of the fact that we recently opened our Offshore Development Centre in partnership with digital transformation leader Espire Infolabs. Together with our team of inhouse experts, this will ensure that we have the scale and the skills required to grow our digital transformation client base.

Additionally, the business takes great pride in the way it supported clients through Covid with technology that alleviated pressure on their businesses. This includes our suite of tools that enable clients to print, edit and manage documents remotely - essential capabilities during Covid and now with teams dispersed and working remotely.

What are you working on this year?

Adare SEC was recently acquired by the Opus Trust Communications group, and we are currently working hard to bring the group of companies together under the master Adare SEC brand banner. This move brings all colleagues together under one identity and means that all departments will operate across the business as a whole - reinforcing Adare SEC's position as a single, industry-leading business with exceptional reach, know-how and capacity.

Part of this strategy is to further accelerate the development of applications and services on the cloud using Azure, driving further operational efficiencies.

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

It's important to recognise and celebrate excellence in any field. Certainly, being able to promote success reflects extremely well on the business, generating pride amongst employees and providing the marketplace with hard evidence of innovation in action.

The award event itself offers important peer-to-peer networking opportunities, as well as being a fantastic occasion and a wonderful spotlight for businesses of all sizes and from many different fields.

The UK IT Industry Awards will take place on 9th November in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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