INTERVIEW: Newcastle based software consultancy on becoming a B Corp and what to expect in 2024

For Day 7 of Bdaily’s 12 Days of Christmas, we sat down with Graham Odds, Chief Strategy Officer at Newcastle headquartered software consultancy and recently qualified B Corp, Scott Logic. Graham was keen to share his thoughts on the company’s growth throughout 2023 and what might be in store in the new year. Read on to find out more…

1. First things first, can you tell our readers a bit about what Scott Logic does?

We design and build custom software for large organisations all over the world, and we advise them on how to use technology to solve problems they face. Our community brings together about 500 passionate technologists from across the UK, headquartered in Newcastle.

We’re known for things like helping our clients make data-driven decisions, maximise efficiencies in the cloud, harness the potential of AI, delight end users, and break free from legacy systems.

We’ve been doing this kind of work for nearly 20 years now with sectors across the economy, including large financial services institutions, energy firms, and government and public sector organisations. Our clients love us for our blend of deep expertise, real-world pragmatism, and reassuring humanity. That’s why they keep partnering with us year after year.

2. Can you walk us through some of the highlights of 2023 for the business?

A lot of our client work is confidential so I don’t normally get to talk much about specifics. But this year, the Payment Service that we’ve been building with the Scottish Government went live in private beta.

It’s a digital common platform that allows public bodies across Scotland to make and receive payments in a faster, more accessible and secure way. With millions of pounds already flowing through the platform, we’re very proud of this work and the positive impact it’s already having on people’s lives.

Another highlight has been our partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Data to help organisations grapple with the massive disruption caused by generative AI. It’s been a long time since a technology with such a significant world-changing impact has come along.

It’s exciting to help our clients explore the opportunities GenAI is creating for them, while also supporting them to understand and manage the associated risks. As with all true innovation, it’s not for the faint of heart, but for me, that’s what makes it such an exciting space!

My last big highlight of the year has been Scott Logic achieving B Corp certification. As someone who has worked at the company for 17 years and has consistently been proud of the “good” we do, it means a lot to me personally to see this validated externally.

3. What is the significance of being awarded B Corp status in today’s business landscape?

I think it’s indisputable that business has a significant impact on our world; economically, socially and environmentally. And that’s why, across all those concerns, I’ve always felt that we should be seeking to use that impact as a force for good.

Many businesses root themselves in their economic concerns, and that’s understandable, we all need to put dinner on the table. But a narrow focus on that alone has led to systems and behaviours based around value extraction by the few, rather than value creation for the many.

The growing B Corp movement is amassing a counterweight to that narrow view of the purpose of business. At Scott Logic, we exist to create opportunity and sustainable prosperity through technical innovation. In my (long!) time here, I’ve seen that evolve and mature.

It’s gone from being an inevitable byproduct of a community of “good” people, to us intentionally shaping our business’s behaviours and actions towards creating benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

In a crowded space, it can often be tricky to communicate what your brand stands for. We see B Corp status as a clear signal of broadly who we are and how we operate as a business.

The certification demonstrates we meet high standards of social and environmental impact. It proves our commitment to accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement. It declares that we’re part of a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system.

4. What is your favourite festive tradition and why?

Every month, we have a virtual “Tek Talks” session across the business, where colleagues can come together to share knowledge and insights. The talks can be about any topic relevant to our clients and their technology challenges (most of this is shared externally too on our blog!).

The December edition is always more loose and lighthearted, and it has become our tradition that one of our Executive team contributes something reflective of themselves. Last year our CTO, Colin Eberhardt, entertained us with a festive poem generated by ChatGPT.

This year, I’ve performed a reading of Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. I’ll let you judge what that says about each of us!

5. Looking forward to 2024, what can you tell our readers about what Scott Logic has in store for the future?

Our vision is to be the answer for any large organisation wanting to build complex, enterprise-scale digital systems, and 2024 is going be another significant step towards that. We’re going to continue to grow, sustainably and profitably, while staying true to who we are.

We will be delivering more and more impactful digital transformation with our clients, and we will be looking for lots more passionate technologists across the UK to make that possible. And throughout all of that, we’ll stay true to who we are and what we exist to do, by creating ever more opportunity and sustainable prosperity through technical innovation.

Credit: Bdaily

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