26 Nov

What it takes to win the Queens Award for Innovation in Digital Transformation

In a world where everyone markets what they do as ‘innovation’, how does a company prove it’s an innovation expert?  At a time when the misuse of data and technology frequently make the headlines, how can you demonstrate that your company is technically highly capable, reliably delivers business impact and also stands by the ethical values of ‘tech for good’?

The answer is that you win the Queen’s Award for Innovation; which is without doubt the definitive benchmark and most prestigious accolade for business in the UK.  It is only awarded to exceptional organisations, in recognition of outstanding and consistent achievements in innovation.

Informed Solutions was recently the fortunate recipient of the Queen’s Award for Innovation, representing the highest endorsement of our consistent track record of harnessing digital innovation in ways that make a positive difference to people’s lives, as well as deliver better business outcomes.  The award was officially presented by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr. Warren J. Smith at our Manchester Headquarters on the 24th September.

Informed Solutions’ Global CEO, Elizabeth Vega, reflects on the reasons for Informed’s enduring success in delivering transformational innovation, using digital and data technologies to meet some of the most demanding business challenges.

“The Queens Award for Innovation recognises our significant and consistent innovation achievements over many years.  Critically, our success is underpinned by investing in great people, developing their skills and creating a culture of diversity, trust, collaboration and continual learning.  It’s this mix that delivers award-winning results and motivates our people to give their best; working through the inevitable challenges of delivering large, complex digital transformation outcomes and using technology for good, as well as to deliver business impact.  It’s not the easy road to building up a business.  It does however produce a highly regarded and resilient company and an incredibly satisfying workplace for those of us that want to make a positive difference through their work.”

“A transparent, collaborative approach”

Collaboration lies at the heart of our innovation approach.  We specialise in delivering secure, large scale and complex digital solutions.  To be effective, our people must be confident and comfortable integrating into multi-disciplinary teams and working closely alongside clients, diverse user communities and a range of domain and subject matter experts.  We invest in our people, so they are highly trained and multi-skilled but we are also committed to working with respect, integrity and honesty.   As a result, clients can be confident in the professional capabilities and guidance that we offer.  It’s important that we find the best options which navigate a client through their transformation journey, whilst trusting in and enjoying the experience of working together.

At a practical level, we have invested significantly in developing agile, user research and iterative solution development methodologies that deliver user-centred digital services and also work towards business transformation outcomes for clients.  We foster a ‘one-team’ ethos, promoting focus, accountability, continuous feedback, learning and improvement.  In this way, we deliver innovation that genuinely transforms and modernises a service for the benefit of both users and the client’s business.

“Investing in our people”

As a high-performing organisation reliant on market leading capabilities, we’re clear that our people and their skills are our business.  We foster a dynamic workplace environment that encourages curiosity, problem solving, personal development and learning balanced with team working, professional discipline and accountability.  InformedACADEMY, provides a flexible, tailorable professional development platform for our people and (frequently) clients to upskill and re-skill themselves in a rapidly changing workplace.  The care and investment we make in our people cultivates a supportive learning environment which enables everyone to play to their personal strengths whilst ensuring that their skills remain relevant to the evolving nature of their jobs.

“Contributing to our community”

As a global business with offices in Australia and the UK, serving clients in over 40 countries, Informed Solutions is proud to be UK headquartered in Manchester.  We play an active role in the Northern Powerhouse economy and aim to meaningfully contribute to every local community where we do business.

Reflecting our commitment to local communities and creating social value, our celebration had a distinctly regional flavour.  All the suppliers for our Queens Award event were local companies who share our business values and passion for innovative, superior quality products and services.  These included the Manchester-based Four Sisters and Zymurgorium gin distilleries that are renowned for their distinctive, delicious products whilst striving to do business with integrity, including reducing their carbon footprint.  Altrincham-based Francs Events provided a personal experience which ensured that we were all fabulously taken care of.  Also we’d like to call out our local farm shop and artisan ice-cream maker,  Posh Cow,  which proved a firm favourite with staff and guests, many of which went back for second and third servings.

Elizabeth finishes her retrospective with a personal reflection on how authentic, inclusive relationships help build a successful and enduring business that people enjoy working for and with:

“Every one of our people is undeniable proud that their efforts have been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Innovation.  We’re also delighted and touched by the effort that so many of our clients, business partners, local community and business leaders made, to join us and share in the happy celebrations.

One of the most amusing highlights for me was the Lord Lieutenant’s hushed observation, “You have an incredibly young company”.  My response was, “Yes, Sir, we do.  The average age is just below 32, which obviously includes some of us that push that average up a little”.  Below is a favourite picture of the Lord Lieutenant with our current graduate programme and work placement people.  Informed Solutions is a vibrant and energising place to work, where you can be inspired by the diversity of people that you work with, the many opportunities to grow and develop as a person, and the extraordinary things that you can achieve together.”

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