In Cloud Solutions

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by In Cloud Solutions's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from In Cloud Solutions is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
In Cloud Solutions – providers of
SAP Business ByDesign business
In Cloud Solutions staff at
their offices near Reading
In Cloud Solutions is a partner of global software company
SAP, specialising in Business ByDesign – an ERP software
solution for small to mid-sized businesses. Based in the
Thames Valley, it boasts a staff of 30 specialist consultants
dedicated to making digital transformation straightforward, fast
and affordable. LucyThorpe, head of social media and content
creation, discusses the company’s digital work, the power of the
cloud and the digitalfuture.
It’s a digital world
All businesses are going to have to embrace digital technology if they want to
succeed. Governments and consultants know this and most companies now know
this, but there’s still widespread paralysis when it comes to doing something aboutit.
We understand this fear of the digital future at In Cloud Solutions – we see it
across all sectors, from manufacturing to professional services. As leading providers
of business software solutions, we believe it is our job to break down these fears
and lead small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards a smarter future by
embracing all that digital technology has to offer.
The power of the cloud
Business partners Caroline Atkinson and Liz Matraves started In Cloud Solutions six
years ago when they realised that a combination of cloud and digital technology
was about to transform the landscape for SMEs.
»Managing partners: Caroline
Atkinson and LizMatraves
»Based in Hare Hatch, Reading,
»Services: Supply of leading
business ERP software
»No. of employees: 30
In Cloud Solutions
Where previously only big enterprises
could afford the kind of IT that ran
everything, the advent of cloud meant
that smaller companies could now
get the same advantage. Gone was
the need for a big stack of computer
hardware sitting in the office and in
came IT in “the cloud” – effectively
business process software accessed via
the internet. It was a game-changer,
putting everyone on the same footing
and we knew we had to be part of it.
The early days around a kitchen
table in Berkshire were a far cry from
the corporate and shiny world our
founders had been used to when they
worked for global leader SAP. But we
grew quickly and now occupy lovely
rural offices outside Reading with
over 30 staff and 35 clients around
We believe that we’re successful
because of our unique selling
proposition – the partnership that we
offer our clients. We don’t want to be
a “vendor” – we want to be a partner
and consultant, helping businesses get
the most from what digital software
has to offer. Without this approach, a
lot of digital efforts will fail.
Every kind of people
We are ambitious for our clients’
future and are equally ambitious for
our staff. Our talented developers
are given the freedom to create new
apps, which we offer for the benefit
of others. We work on trust and
respect, while encouraging people to
develop expertise in areas that they
We are a diverse bunch. We recently
won an Enlightened Employer award
from Women in Business for our
human approach – women returning
from a career break are given the
chance to learn new skills and thrive,
while parents of both sexes are
understood and given the flexibility to
care for their families.
Impact on industry
Nationally, we are leading the way
in promoting cloud-based business
software. We decided early on to
cement that commitment by working
with only one product – the cloud-
based SAP Business ByDesign. After
a slow start, all the major companies
now offer cloud-based products, but
we still believe that ours is the best in
its class.
It is well known that cloud allows
business leaders to be flexible –
accessing information wherever they
are and on any device, making it easy
to get things done on the go. What
is less well understood, however, is Digital technology must
be part of the drive to
increase productivity in
technology is
now at the
heart of every
Highlighting best practice
the idea that digital puts technology
at the heart of business, compelling
executives to take the lead. It is no
longer acceptable to sit back and leave
technology to the techies.
Business leaders have access to more
quality information than ever before,
but they need to be able to use it to
make the most informed decisions.
That is why we promote the idea of
partnership with our clients. After all,
once you accept the idea that both
learning and development will be
continuous, things become easier and
more productive.
Our “learning days” and follow-up
training mean that clients continue to
get the best out of their technology
well into the future. Anyone who
leaves a client bewildered and unable
to run their business is letting the
industry down.
It is this approach which has won
us coveted Platinum Partner Status
from SAP1 and it is this approach that
has placed us on the list of Crown
Suppliers for Digital Services.
1 In Cloud Solutions have Platinum status as
part of the United VARs network.
Digital future?
A lot has been written about jobs
being lost to automation – the brave
new world of machine learning and
artificial intelligence. Some routine
tasks will certainly be automated and
some services will become quicker and
cheaper as a result. While some tasks
will be achieved without the need for
human intervention, automation will
free up time for things that do, like
strategy and creativity.
As for the economic future, we know
that Brexit brings uncertainty and
doubles the need to be productive
as a nation – last year’s government
sponsored industrial review was clear
in concluding that digital technology
needs to help us do that. The same
lesson can be applied to all sectors,
for example financial and professional
services. In fact, most companies
should be finding ways to use
technology to their best advantage as
we forge ahead.
As for our future as a company, we
plan to keep on growing. We are
constantly looking for new client
partners to join us on our exciting
journey ahead.
We are
looking for
new client
partners to
join us on our
journey ahead
Professional services are
just one of the sectors
that must embrace
digital technology

This article was sponsored by In Cloud Solutions. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy