Welcome to the fourth of our monthly blogs. This month Alistair Campbell, Group IT Director discusses the importance of being at the forefront of technology and the challenges that are faced by IT departments up and down the country.

16 November 2022

When Kindertons first started out, there was one very clear aim – to support our customers as best we can and deliver an outstanding level of customer service. Almost 30 years later and this is as true now as it ever was. Since those early days, the company has grown and evolved considerably, but perhaps the most noticeable changes have taken place over the last 2.5 years. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic seems a world away now, it has permanently changed the way many of us work. Myself and our IT Team have worked hard to navigate these new changes and the challenges that have come with it – as well as maintaining system security and working on and rolling out new technologies to help keep us at the top of our game.

Following my time at University studying physics, I decided it was time to join the commercial world and as someone who loved technology I was immediately drawn to working in IT. I started off as a Systems Analyst and then spent several years as a Software Developer, with a particular focus on payment systems – for example I did a lot of work on the UK rollout of Chip and PIN payment cards.  I then spent seven years living and working in Australia, where, following some time in technology consulting, I made the switch into IT Leadership, working as the Chief Technology Officer for the Australian subsidiary of a Global Smart Card manufacturer.  

Since moving back to the UK, I’ve continued to work in IT leadership roles and have been lucky enough to work across many industry sectors and experience many different organisations and work cultures. It’s always striking how common some of the technology challenges can be - for example the need to innovate quickly whilst ensuring system security and integrity is never compromised. The pandemic was an incredible challenge for IT Teams across the country who had to rapidly get organisations set up for remote working and I was particularly proud of the way the team here was able to mobilise quickly to enable the business to keep functioning during that period.

With all these challenges in mind, it’s critical that organisations see technology as a strategic enabler and that’s certainly the case here at Kindertons. This is demonstrated by the continued high levels of investment in technology. The pandemic has permanently changed the way we and our stakeholders work and our investment in cloud and hosted desktop technology means we are ideally placed to support this. As part of this program of work we have migrated our core infrastructure into 3rd party enterprise grade data centres, further strengthening our resilience, reliability and security.

We are also investing in our ACE Programme which is focussed on replacing our legacy KAMFE claims and fleet system with a brand new Fleet Management System built in Microsoft Dynamics and ICE Insure Tech’s award winning ICE platform. We’ve been live on the new Fleet system since February and are currently in pilot with the ICE platform ahead of the wider rollout and we’re really excited about the benefits these systems will bring to our users and customers. The investment in these new systems will lay the platform for us to further invest and innovate in the ways we interact with our customers, and we will continue to invest in our own internal software development capability to build bespoke components to complement these systems and further support our customer’s needs.  

By combining the skills of our internal IT Team with key strategic suppliers we are building an ecosystem that will enable us to continue to innovate and both support and lead the business and I’m really excited about what the future holds.