Tranforming from a traditional infrastructure provider to a cloud-based services provider has not been an easy road, but Fordway boss Richard Blanford (pictured) is pleased with its progress as the firm celebrates 25 years in business this month.
Despite seeing a flat year in the last financial year, after a whopping 60 per cent growth spurt the year before, Blanford is aiming for 20 per cent compound growth in the coming year.
"There is no reason why we shouldn't see that growth provided we get it right," Blanford said.
Three years ago the firm, which generates 60 per cent of its business through the public sector, made the decision to morph into a cloud service provider, specialising in AWS, Azure and Office 365.
"We realised at that time that we had no recurring revenue, everything was project based," he said. "So we decided to build our own cloud platform and start hosting and running cloud services. We are now two thirds of the way through that transition, and we run an in-house public cloud and help customers with migration and running cloud services.
"We are also aiming to help demystify IT for our customers and help them make the right decisions," he said.
Blanford added the firm had created seven new jobs over the last 12 months to reflect its cloud focus, including brand new roles such as cloud architects, and service delivery managers.
"It is all about the people, they are absolutely key to success," he explained.
He also said that since the transition started, Fordway is less reliant on specific vendors, but has been developing a range of services including patch management and compliance, that run alongside the core infrastructure and integration services.
And acquisition is definitely not on the radar. "We did toy with some smaller, bolt-on acquisitions, but it is not our business model, we are more about organic growth," he said.
"I would rather the management team focused on delivering growth and service to customers. When you buy another company, you are only buying the customer base, and even then they can go elsewhere.
"This is a steady evolution. What we do now is very different to what we did five or ten years ago," he said. "The ability to change and adapt is important, but you should definitely not underestimate the scale of change. We thought it would take three years to migrate to the cloud, but it is more like five years."
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