CTO Talk – Summing Up Year One
In the first of a series of articles from our Chief Technology Officer Brad Mallard, he starts by trying to to sum up his experience at Version 1 so far in a single word.
If I had to sum up the last year at Version 1, it would be really nothing less than extraordinary, because we’ve achieved so much since I joined. We’ve grown from 2,200 people to 3,500, so we’ve got 50% bigger – and that’s both in terms of numbers of people and revenue.
We’ve got significantly bigger in areas of our specialism. We’ve grown our data capability; we’ve grown our cloud capability and in DevOps, SecOps. We’ve scaled with our already market leading Oracle capability even further – recently earning the 2023 Oracle EMEA Partner of the Year Award for Innovation Award.
We’ve really solidified what we’re good at but one of the most interesting areas for me was the significant increase in focus on Artificial Intelligence. One of the first things I did in the role was to really focus our R&D strategy and investments towards a few specific areas of AI, notably Generative AI.
We had experience with this kind of technology gained over the last number of years, working with customers on solutions using what was then called Conversational AI or early transformer and language models like LaMDA and GPT2. Before the world went crazy over ChatGPT, we had that groundwork done to a large degree.
That early focus on emerging technology was fantastic because I got three or four months to focus the team on Generative AI and Computer Vision. Then ChatGPT landed and we had already built credibility and massively accelerated adoption with customers and our own accelerators, giving us a leading position in Generative AI in the UK and Ireland.
And that’s been recognised by our partners and we’re at the forefront of innovation with it, already helping dozens of customers and actively testing, trialling, and getting value from the technology.
Some of those use cases are already promising to deliver multimillion savings per annum for projects that are relatively short, sharp and quick to implement. The transformative nature of it is vast.
Now that we’re applying AI, we are helping to drive the future of business and the future strategy and direction of Version 1.
Our aim is to help enable our customers and help them fix problems by shaping for and embracing innovation and applying the powerful technology sustainably. The sustainable application of technology is another key aspect at the heart of our efforts, and we have had certified hundreds of our development, cloud and delivery capability in Green architecture and engineering already, a truly powerful combination when coupled with AI. I think this is super exciting.
Another major focus for me has been the creation of Communities internally at Version 1, bringing the 3,500 people and five different acquisitions over the last 18 months together with engagement, collaboration, and communication. These forums help people to bring people together from across the broader organisation under a single Version 1 umbrella.
A lot has happed in the last 12 months, but I think extraordinary is a good word to capture the story so far!
Want to hear about Brad’s plans for the future? Or what makes Version 1 stand out from the crowd? Discover the rest of the series right here and be sure to follow him on LinkedIn for all the latest updates.
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