Version 1’s CEO Tom O’Connor reflects on 2023

man standing


Another busy year comes to a close and I wanted to take a moment to reflect with you all on how our partnership has hopefully added value to your organisations, sometimes against a challenging backdrop from the macro environment. We know that macroeconomic uncertainty can drive a temporary paralysis on your plans and provides internal challenges, such as upward shifts in decisions and sign-off that adds to timelines and workloads. From our own Strength in Balance model that sees us prioritising customers, employees, and the business, we know that it can be difficult to keep an even balance across all three against impacting factors that are out of our control. 

Our quarterly surveys that we ask you to complete, give us the feedback that lets us continually improve our offer to you, finding ways that will help you in return deliver success to your customers. We listened to what you said about the complexity of our offer and have re-organised our services into a simplified portfolio, all underscored by public cloud platforms as enablers. You will hear much more about this in the new year from your individual Version 1 contacts. 

This year we have been recognised with several awards that we feel are testament to the hard work all our teams put into every project for you. We learnt from your feedback how you appreciate this recognition, particularly after receiving so many this year from our strategic technology partners, which include Microsoft’s Global Partner of the Year for Modernising Applications, Oracle EMEA Innovation Partner of the Year and AWS EMEA Collaboration Partner of the Year. Again, with a balanced lens on all three sides of our Strength in Balance model, we also collected multiple employer awards from the Great Place to Work institute across all our locations, including winning this accolade specifically for women.    

As we work with you on your digital transformation programmes covering different industries, we never stray from our core value of putting customers first, so innovation and sustainable development are also threads that run through all aspects of our offer, to help you stand out from your competitors and be the best for your customers.  This year, we have worked with you to help manage your software and IT estates, optimising and mitigating costs – simply by consulting with you on your projects and providing advice on aspects such as reducing carbon footprint and giving vendor agnostic, independent guidance. These are just some of the ways in which we try to add value to your project beyond the scope of work. For our public sector clients, we have helped reduce operating costs and supported multiple Government agency projects on digital and cloud-first, underscored by availability and reliability for key enterprise systems.  

Many of you are now also looking at AI as an enabler within your organisations. We have done much research into some of the stickier issues that surround this, such as what are the current regulations that exist (bearing in mind each country has its own rules) and how ethical AI has to be a baseline consideration. Some proof of concepts that we have worked on are now scaling, and we are seeing a bias towards AI for good. When The National Museum of Computing launched its inclusive app that lets neurodiverse and non-English language-speaking visitors of all ages enjoy the intricate museum exhibits, we were genuinely moved by the response that we had and we’re looking at rolling this out across other inclusive projects with customers.  

Another area that you have asked us about this year centres around the myriad of responsible action levers that are now an integral part of all business decisions. We have learned a lot from our own foray into reducing our carbon emissions and giving back to our communities. Having just had our roadmap to net zero validated by the Science Based Targets initiative and with our ongoing commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we’re on track to achieve net zero in our supply chain by 2035. We have advised some of you with strategies for reducing Scope 3 emissions (purchased goods and services), which are the hardest targets to achieve.  

I hope this gives you some insight to show that we are well poised to go into 2024 with a strong focus on adding value to your business and helping you to succeed in your own goals. Please do contact me directly at any time if there’s anything you would like to discuss, and I would also urge you to talk to your Version 1 team. They may be able to help you with any pain points that you might be facing, there could be areas that we can give advice or suggest solutions to that you’re not even aware of. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for working with us, and trusting us with your most important transformation programmes and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2024.

Tom O’Connor, CEO, Version 1