by Steve Brown, MD of Highlander
This month Sheffield-based Highlander – one of the UK’s leading IT service providers – join unLTD as regular contributors. In their debut feature MD Steve Brown says the company is here to help ‘clear the mist’ for companies navigating the industry.
How did we end up here?
Well, new people coming into a business often bring new ideas and perspectives to the table, but one of the things that we’ve always ‘thought’ we did quite well was maintaining a good presence within our local business community. However, after taking some time to reflect, the consensus was that we aren’t quite where we should be. With that in mind, some of our recent recruits suggested we should do something to reconnect with local organisations. A chat with Dan Laver and the unLTD team followed, and now here we are.
So, what’s in it for you?
We’re here to stir up some further interest in the world of IT. Through our monthly column, we want to advise, educate, and provoke some thoughts on a range of IT-related topics. Everything from helping you and your family avoid a cyber-attack, to sharing a few hints and tips on how software can revolutionise your business and help deliver the goals you seek. It’s as simple as that.
We previously wrote a monthly column several years ago for The Sheffield Telegraph. Back then it was hard to find subjects to keep the interest levels up – Zoom and Teams were a million years away, fixing IT systems without leaving your desk wasn’t possible on those 56k modems, and while security was important, a little bit of Norton Antivirus sat on your PC did all that was needed.
These days, an endless stream of mind-blowing buzzwords and acronyms such as AR, AI, machine learning, data mining, phishing, IoT and LoB continue to emerge. They are often confusing, overlapping and, without assistance, can make the IT industry feel like a minefield or a dark art. This simply isn’t the case, and we can help with clearing the mist.
What we do every day, and what we’ll do in these articles, will be to reinforce our motto of ‘Making IT uncomplicated’. We’ve been in the game for over 25 years and one thing has never changed – we engage with people to help them get the most out of their IT in the most uncomplicated way possible.
We’ve recently implemented Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer feedback tool that some will already be familiar with. Whilst we love complex hardware, software implementations, and all of the buzzwords and new tech listed previously, we also love hearing from people using the data and systems we provide to serve customers or run their business.
‘You didn’t make me feel like an old person!’, ‘Call logged, called back, explained and helped me with my issue within 30 minutes, thank you!’, is just some of the positive feedback which has been shared with us.
It’s this uncomplicated customer engagement that makes our people tick, and it’s quite apt that we are joining unLTD on the month that training for the NPS platform is given to our team.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with our chairman Dr Richard Field OBE for decades now. One gift he has given us is the knowledge that the continual development of our people and systems is crucial to achieving our goals. I had the pleasure of working with Richard and Professor Robert Copeland of The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre during lockdown to develop a leadership course with a focus on skills that help manage work and life pressures – a key aspect when looking to improve an organisation’s performance. We know IT can help, but people need to be at the front of any plans for progression.
The lack of an available talent pool for many industries right now is pushing training and development to the forefront for many.
Whether it’s hospitality, HGV drivers – or indeed IT engineers – the shortages seem to be growing. I’m proud that as a business we’ve always taken pride in the internal progression and development of our people.
The fact that 66 per cent of our team have been with us for over five years, and 35 per cent for a decade or more is testament not only to the positive working environment we’ve created together, but also to the trust we put into our team to take on new responsibilities when the opportunity arises.
As the IT industry leaps forward those opportunities are aplenty, so the training and development budget grows to facilitate this!
I hope this article gives a little insight into what we’re all about, and what we hope to share through upcoming issues of unLTD.
In our next column we’ll be looking at security and how we can help the everyday user, and vulnerable family and friends, stay secure as the frequency of online fraud and cybersecurity attacks continues to rise.
For more information visit: www.highlanderuk.com