Q2 2023

22 | SME News Q2 2023 Values, Culture, Accountability By offering cyber solutions, ITHQ helps organisations achieve and maintain the highest levels of resilience with strategic offerings and skills delivered as-a-service. We find out more from CEO, Scott Nursten, as the company is crowned Best Cyber Resilience Service Provider 2023 - South East England. Delivering strategy-led, technological, and operational cyber security and resilience solutions to organisations across the UK, ITHQ is built on the core values of transparency, authenticity, accountability, and autonomy, with a culture of inclusive meritocracy and a passion to ‘solve for the customer’. This approach has driven the firm’s growth despite it only launching in January 2020 and having to navigate the pandemic as a start-up. ITHQ is ISO 27001, 9001, and Cyber Essentials Plus certified, as well as an approved Crown Commercial Supplier across multiple government frameworks, approved suppliers to the Scottish Government and part of the Irish educational sector HEANet framework. Scott Nursten is Chief Executive Officer at the firm and tells us more about its offering. “Our strategic solutions are built with only the best technologies, as determined by our solution architecture framework,” he begins. “Aligned to critical controls, flexible as-a-service options are available for all our solutions to most effectively map business needs and financial planning. We are accountable for the resilience solutions we deliver, with a satisfaction guarantee written into our contracts.” Whether the initial need is for risk management, tactical infrastructure/cyber solutions, or a strategic review, ITHQ’s lifecycle process allows long-term roadmaps and forecasting to ensure continuous, measurable outcomes, and it is dedicated to solving problems for its customers. In turn, customers report higher returns, the elimination of kneejerk tech spend, and improved executive buyin as a result. This model, together with the company’s built-in resilience guarantee, sets it apart in the highly competitive IT sector. Scott explains that the majority of companies in the IT sector are selling ever more products that compete with each other and, while this might offer clients a wider choice, ITHQ has chosen a model that means it only delivers solutions around technology considered to present the best possible value to customers. This means that the firm only works with one vendor in each solution space, becoming the highest ranking experts certified on that technology and forging excellent relationships with all of its partners. Scott tells us that its stable of technologies is reassessed every year and if any slip significantly in performance, price, or user experience, then ITHQ will seek a replacement. “So far, we have remained with the same vendors,” he enthuses. “While this approach means a great deal of research and investment in certification training programmes for us, it is on this solid foundation that our resilience guarantee is built. As a result, we receive high levels of trust from our customers.” In fact, one of ITHQ’s most established customers, The Hippodrome Casino in London, now uses 20 of its solutions. The company works closely with the Head of IT and his team to ensure critical systems run smoothly and effectively 24/7. “As an operator in a highly regulated sector, The Hippodrome’s technological and operational resilience is paramount,” Scott continues. “We are very proud to be the trusted partner of such an iconic business, delivering solutions that ensure complex, critical systems run smoothly and securely.” Philip Mitchell, Head of IT at The Hippodrome Casino, can’t speak highly enough of the firm, stating, “ITHQ are experts in strategising solutions to fit our business needs and goals. They consistently deliver what we need and even during those unavoidable moments when we need extra support, ITHQ quickly comes up with a solution that works for us and ensures any concerns are addressed.” The IT sector is currently suffering an ongoing and well-publicised skills shortage and ITHQ navigates this issue by looking beyond the well-grooved channels for hiring new team members. It runs apprenticeships and other training programmes within the business that allow the firm to hire people based on their desire to solve challenges and learn new skills. “It is a model that works very well for us, cultivating the growth mindset required for excellent problem solving,” explains Scott. “An example of our success in this approach is that we took part in the government’s Kickstart scheme during lockdown, where we offered six unemployed youngsters receiving Universal Credit work experience at ITHQ. Out of those six, three are now full-time employees: two technical engineers and one in marketing. We believe hiring based on attitude is innovative in tech and also sets us apart. It has strengthened our team by attracting diverse people who might otherwise have shied away from a career in technology.” This positive and refreshing attitude not only sets the firm aside and differentiates it from others, but it also gained it recognition in the SME News Business Elite Awards 2023 and saw it being named Best Cyber Resilience Service Provider 2023 - South East England. And Scott has tips for SME businesses looking to become successful like ITHQ. “Values, culture, and accountability should be the focus,” he says passionately. “Business owners are always giving themselves excuses as to why growth might be slower than expected, for example. Hold yourself to the highest standards and embody the change you want your business to effect in the world.” Contact: Sally Nursten Company: ITHQ Web Address: ithq.pro Mar23239