I’m Russell Sloan and I’m the Director of Digital Services in Kainos. That means that I’m responsible for all of our digital transformation projects in the UK Government and Private Sector. I thought I’d take this opportunity to give some insight into why our Birmingham office is one of the most exciting developments of my time with Kainos and how we plan to grow to 60 people by the end of 2018 then at least double again in the next 3 years.
My personal story
I joined Kainos in Belfast fresh from university and I’ve worked here for 19 years, working my way from Software Engineer in 1999, to my current role of Director of Digital Services. One of the first projects I worked as an engineer on was DINIS; a service which was then used by most of the UK’s energy companies. During the course of this project I became a team leader, and then went on to lead our Support Division. The rest, as they say is history and I’ve learned loads along the way.
With a culture of mentoring and coaching in Kainos, I hope that my story resonates with the people in our teams, that at Kainos, most of the leadership are developed in-house and that it’s very much an achievable goal.
Going from strength to strength
If you don’t know who we are: We offer full lifecycle development and support of innovative, creative and fully-customised solutions, leading digital transformation projects for government and commercial customers. We are also the largest boutique partner in Europe for Workday, ensuring successful implementation for enterprise customers.
TL: DR – we help clients undertake and succeed with difficult digital transformation projects, and we’re chosen time and time again thanks to the amazing teams we put together and the results we deliver. Our success depends on our people.
One of the biggest opportunities Kainos’ growth has offered me is the chance to work with UK Government clients on some of the highest-profile projects in our history. We got our first opportunity to engage with UK Government in 2013, and we decided it was right to branch out from our current engagements. I have had the pleasure of leading the business through our engagements from DVLA to Cabinet Office and then on to the wider range of clients we have today. Our clients are based in London and increasing widely across the UK. Our projects are delivered with clients at their sites and at our development centres in Belfast and Gdansk.
Over time, the geographical considerations our work in Kainos has changed, and while we have an active travelling workforce, we also look for sustainability to have people working close to their base location where possible. We saw an opportunity last year to really grow our business in outside of London, establishing a new hub location. The appetite of our customers to work with us in a new location was strong, so we embarked on a research project, incorporating HR, Facilities Management, our travel specialists, and our recruiters amongst others in the business.
Birmingham was selected for a number of reasons. It became the clear frontrunner because of the Universities in the region and the quality of the courses, with hundreds of talented technologists graduating each year. For a company like Kainos established in Belfast, this is really one of the cornerstones of our success. The fact that Birmingham boosts such great transport links was a great added bonus.
We arrived in Birmingham and instantly it felt right. The vibrancy of the city, the people and the atmosphere just felt ‘Kainos’ which is vitally important to us. We’ve hosted a networking event in our office to establish ourselves in the area in our first weeks there. The calibre of the people and the craic (as we say in Northern Ireland) on the night left us all feeling certain we’d made the right decision – not just on paper! I’m excited and pleased with our decision to choose Birmingham.
What does the future hold?
Birmingham has a thriving private sector and we’re delighted to be the latest addition to the skyline there. With aspirations of growing to around 60 people in the region over the next year, and to double that over three years, we’ll be keeping our recruitment team busy for the time being. If you’d like to be a part of our journey, we’re hiring across a wide range of roles, establishing Scrum teams there from scratch. Join us if you want to help deliver difficult digital and achieve joint success as part of Team Kainos!