Switch Concepts is the very definition of a rapid growth technology company. They deliver over 1 billion internet ads per day and grew from nothing to £14.5m turnover in just five years and are on track for another 100% growth year. In two years, from 2011 to 2013, employee numbers rose from 4 to over 70. September 2013 saw them ranked 2nd in The Sunday Times TechTrack100 league of fastest growing technology companies.
The sheer scale of growth created a number of needs.
- Board level CTO/CIO advisory services
- Introduction of best practices
- Alignment of technology platforms for future growth
- Data and infrastructure security and resiliency
- Staff scaling – junior to senior level – and improve short- and long-term hires
CG Consultancy worked through each problem with Switch Concepts to discover and implement effective solutions.
CG Consultancy began work in early 2013 and change happened rapidly.
- Provided technology strategy and guidance at C-level (board / executive stakeholders)
- Installed an Interim CTO (Chief Technology Officer) / CIO (Chief Information Officer)
- Conducted a full audit of technology development and infrastructure
- Delivered an initial technology improvement plan and short-medium term roadmap aligned to business objectives
- Defined organisation structure with supporting business case for new functions, including; Project Management & Business Analysis, QA Testing and the role of CIO.
- Provided onsite and offsite software development resource - a flex team of 6 x PHP Software Engineers to supplement existing in-house team and to work software releases.
- Provided onsite and offsite system administration resource - a flex team of 3 x System Administrators for Linux (CentOS) environment with experience of XenServer virtualisation.
- Assisted with ongoing support and upgrades to an increasing server estate of 180 physical Dell R620 series servers with in excess of 1000 virtual machines, across 3 data centre locations.
- Provided an onsite and offsite QA testing resource.
- Recruited a key Agile Project Manager & Coach - to implement Agile processes across the business.
- Provided a mobile development team for the specification, design and delivery of a Mobile SDK (Software Development Kit) for Android and iOS platforms.
- Defined, championed and supported the introduction of Agile methodology.
- Assisted with overall technology recruitment plans, including defining job descriptions, liaising with preferred recruitment agencies, providing screening interviews and coordinating overall interview process.
- Introduced a partner company to handle all Human Resources activity for Switch Concepts.
- Introduced a partner company to carry out IT Security audits, code reviews and penetration tests - both from an application perspective but also from an internal IT security standpoint.
- Identified and audited an on-board high quality, ISO 27001 accredited and fault tolerant Data Centres; primarily in the UK but also in Europe and US.
- Defined and project managed an infrastructure plan to ensure platform Resilience and Scalability - addressing key areas such as virtualisation; database performance, failover and replication; cross (geographic) data centre failover strategies; optimal local and network storage solutions for the platform including BigData; network segmentation and routing; failover designs for key software components and infrastructure monitoring.
- Produced plans and blueprint architecture for the next generation Switch platform - to cope with future business growth 2 - 5 year time frame.
This was a large and challenging but ultimately rewarding project, and is an excellent example of the breadth and depth of services CG Consultancy are able to provide. Switch Concepts enthusiastically embraced and aggressively adopted both our immediate recommendations and medium-long term plans and the positive change has been rapid.
Importantly, Switch have not only solved existing problems, but prevented future ones and have plans in place to successfully deal with any unexpected events. The company’s growth continues, and the lightweight, agile processes we introduced have greatly boosted the team’s confidence and its ability to deliver against its product roadmap whilst maintaining strong quality control
“CG Consultancy have assisted on multiple fronts within the technology and operations arena of this fast growth digital advertising company. They have helped us rapidly scale our IT development, testing and system admin resource as well as providing onsite consultancy for strategic and tactical projects. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Chris and his team to any business that is experiencing growing pains, needs to professionalise or simply requires solid reliable advice, planning and industry best practice recommendations.”