Established in 2016, Keep IT Simple (KITS) is a London-based company that specialises in providing the highest quality and value in IT design, build, delivery support and transformation services for public and private clients. Conceived by a team of proactive and expert consultants and engineers led by CEO Dr Grant Harris, KITS is an ethically driven organisation that is committed to integrating world-class resources into the clients’ businesses with a simple approach, delivering stable platforms and software in even the most complex environments. We decided to find out a bit more about KITS.
Keep IT Simple (KITS) is a company conceived and established in 2016 by a team of technically-skilled and proactive consultants and engineers, who had a desire to provide the best quality and the highest value IT design, build, delivery, support and transformation services to public and private sector clients.
A significant issue currently facing the IT support sector is that most modern organisations organically grow their IT platforms and environments, adding more components to their online services as and when they need them. This means that organisations often have a number of different IT service providers working on different platforms, each comprising proprietary products and their own highly priced support staff. By not using a single, overarching IT support strategy, many businesses accumulate capital and people costs that KITS has been able to reduce significantly.
Employing the best enterprise, solution, infrastructure, and data architects, with the highest calibre Programme Managers, including experts in software development and operations, System Administration, Database Administration (DBA), Network and Security Teams, KITS provides complete, holistic services. These include strategic IT assessment, architectural design, transformation of IT platforms and environments, ongoing support and optimisation, and migration from high-cost proprietary products, to the use of open source and private or public cloud solutions.
KITS also specialises in the transformation of stalled or failing IT programmes, delivering stable and performant platforms in complex environments with very tight deadlines. The firm is also a pioneer in its ‘as a Service’ offerings for clients, such as Architecture as a Service, which sees clients paying for outcomes based on solutions instead of paying the excess of what is actually required.
Alongside the comprehensive services it offers clients, KITS is also able to boast numerous accomplishments, such as the development of their own productised automation code verification testing tool, ‘vStack’ and its contribution to the development and delivery of the lauded ‘Covid-19 Food for Vulnerable people’ online application, which was launched only two weeks after inception.
KITS also provides strong security services covering information management to Security Pen testing of CI/CD environments and associated packages, and also boasts a driven Database Team with over a hundred combined years in the IT industry, specialising in the design, implementation and maintenance of highly available, redundant, mission critical database systems. The team are experts in Azure, Cosmos DB, Mongo DB, NoSQL geospatial, PostgreSQL and Oracle, successfully integrating these with multiple middleware and ETL tools. The team has offered bespoke troubleshooting and consultancy to major clients across finance, defence, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, biotech industries and government.
Whether working with a private sector company or UK public sector organisation such as Defra, HMRC or NHS, KITS provides a unique problem-solving approach to radically improve performance, whilst significantly reducing the overall cost of provisioning and supporting IT. Through the offering of creative, innovative solutions and high value provisioning, private and public cloud options and full end-to-end IT systems management, KITS is able to accomplish their founding mission.
KITS has recognised that many of its clients, particularly those within the public sector, seek exceptional, specialist skills that are not readily available or too expensive to recruit for full-time roles. The team therefore ensures that their pricing is always competitive, and that their service is always delivered to the highest standard, so that clients continue to return to KITS for their services time and time again. As a result, more than half of KITS’ clients choose to use the organisation for their ongoing support programmes.
Although the aim of clients is only to use KITS for a limited amount of time on each project, the organisation considers it vital to embed themselves in the client culture, recognising their priorities and aims as the same as their own and therefore putting their clients’ needs first. Many of their competitors may seek to do the same, but only KITS fully understand the complex nature of portfolio IT services and acknowledges the unique challenges faced by companies working within the government or private sectors.
KITS is entrusted with total accountability and ownership across a number of major projects and therefore works closely with the clients to build trust. Transparency and communication are key, and the KITS team go above and beyond to become an integral element of the team, supporting them from the initial consultation up to the successful delivery of the desired outcomes. To become an ‘extension’ of their client’s organisation, KITS also operates with strong ethics, ambitions that put the customer first and objectivity in technical details and analysis. The combination of these values with extensive knowledge, project planning and agility ensures a successful customer experience in every project.
The people behind KITS are therefore absolutely integral to the firm’s success. The team is led by CEO, Dr Grant Harris, a former technical architect who was highly regarded in his field for excellence in his specialisms such as very large IT infrastructure projects that were valued at more than £1 billion. He brought a great deal of experience and insight with him to the role of KITS CEO, including the value of becoming an integral member of any team, even in a transitory position.
The road there may not have always been easy, but thanks to the team of expert consultants, engineers and professionals, KITS has doubled in size in the last twelve months alone, even despite the challenges posed by 2020 and the first two years of struggling to gain credibility in the public sector, an area well known for its hesitations concerning SME’s for critical programmes. As KITS is the culmination of likeminded tech consultants, who seek to deliver the best outcomes possible for their clients, the projects they have successfully embarked upon, such as reducing the overall running costs of a floundering government platform by 80% in only four years, have been plentiful.
Recruitment is therefore immensely important to the success of KITS, and the organisation has been able to acquire some of the best and brightest talent from a broad spectrum of sources, including major IT consulting firms like IBM and Accenture, as well as large organisations across a variety of sectors, including BT, Barclays and the UK Government. Once successfully passing a rigorous recruitment process, learning and development never stops for any member of the team.
KITS’s company culture is built on innovation, respect, honesty and integrity, in which every member of the company, whether they be permanent or an associate, is treated equally. Everyone boasts impressive technical skills, which they are always encouraged to build upon and expand through collaboration and research. Weekly team meetings are a vital element in this collaboration, and allow the brilliant minds that make up KITS to come together to find solutions and innovate, using the diverse perspectives and limitless ideas that are curated by the team to consider how they can best help their clients and society as a whole.
The KITS approach has been different to its competitors from day one, and the benefits of the decisions made back in 2016 can be felt just as keenly now as they were then. For instance, the decision to move away from the traditional, office-based environment in favour of offering services directly to the clients onsite, which strengthened customer relations, or working remotely through use of social media tooling, private and public cloud applications and centralised security for all workers, proved to be an immensely valuable decision in early 2020. When the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted business for so many others, KITS was able to continue seamlessly, providing their services when they were most needed and as such growing by more than 25% in the public sector.
Whilst many of their private clients are still using KITS’ services, there has been a downturn in the amount of new and planned work with these clients, as they struggle to manage their own internal political and financial challenges. Whilst KITS is not predicting many major changes to this over the next year or so, the team continues to be available whenever and however they are needed.
As for KITS itself, the next twelve months will continue to be rather similar in their provision of excellent IT services to those organisations in need of high-quality IT services and support for the best price. They will also explore opportunities within the public sector, which the firm believes will prove mutually beneficial for both KITS and the taxpayer, particularly in the economically challenging times that lie ahead.
With their excellent customer service and technically skilled IT support services, KITS will continue to be a valued partner to UK businesses seeking transformational IT support that performs at an exceptional standard, for an affordable price.
For more information, please contact Grant Harris at www.keepitsimple-uk.co.uk