Interview: Kainos, UK IT Industry Awards winner

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UK IT Industry Awards
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UK IT Industry Awards

'Kainos' aim is simple: to have a lasting positive impact on every client, changing the way they work for the better'

Every business plan now includes information technology (IT) as a crucial and integral part. IT is used not only by multinational firms that manage mainframe systems and databases but also by small businesses that own just a single computer.

The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar. 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 were announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday, 9th November.

Kainos, in partnership with the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), was announced as the winner of the Best Public Sector IT Project of the Year.

Before the awards, we caught up with Alistair Coggins, Product Consultant at Kainos, to find out how his organisation has used IT for success.

Alistair has been with Kainos for the past 18 months and in that time has led the product discovery and delivery for public sector clients. He has been supporting the DVSA as a client-side product lead refining the product strategy, creating a value led roadmap and guiding a team of product owners to deliver iterative user-centric products. In the 15 years prior to joining Kainos Alistair has built many public facing products for Three UK, Virgin Media, The National Trust, Zurich Insurance and a procurement PaaS start-up.

Alistair Coggins, Product Consultant, Kainos
Alistair Coggins, Product Consultant, Kainos

Computing: What makes you different from other technology companies?

Kainos' aim is simple: to have a lasting positive impact on every client, changing the way they work for the better. We're driven forwards by our ambition to maximise the impact we make today and the legacy we leave tomorrow. We challenge ourselves, the organisations we partner with, and the communities we operate in, to be more than ready for what comes next.

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

Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Future Theory Test Service: 

The driving theory test is a rite of passage for 1.6 million learner drivers annually, and one of citizen's first interactions with UK government. The project transformed how DVSA delivers the test, returning control through bringing the service in-house after 19 years of outsourcing.

With 3 million tests per year, the service is one of the largest online testing initiatives globally. The new service lays the foundations for DVSA to transform the test across autonomous and electric vehicle technologies, supporting UK government's future of mobility and clean growth ambitions.

We are most proud of the successful public launch in September 2021, against the backdrop of substantial public demand generated through pausing testing during Covid-19 lockdowns. It was a real testament to the resilience and scalability of our new service, fulfilling 15,000 bookings per day, up from an average of 7,000 bookings pre-pandemic.

Our dedication to designing accessible, inclusive digital services has also been critical. Over 19% of citizens require additional support during their test, without which they are 50-80% more likely to fail. The new service has considerably improved availability and the booking experience for citizens with access needs, where we have enabled a 130% increase in the number of candidates requesting 'reasonable adjustments', thereby supporting equality for all.

What are you working on this year?

Alistair is focused on growing Kainos' Transport sector and continuing to deliver key complex projects for our clients.

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

Awards inspire organisations to be the best they can be and reflect a collective ambition and innovation that makes the IT industry so special. Recognising exceptional talent, problem-solving technologies, positive cultures, and customer achievements are brilliant ways to bring people together and encourage healthy competition to drive the industry forward.

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