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 Ojo Solutions is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
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Highlighting best practice
14 | OJO SOLUTIONS
Nathan Baranowski, managing
Founded in 2009, ojo solutions is a digital transformation
partner for a range of organisations. Based in Bath, ojo
solutions helps organisations understand how to use
technology to meet their strategic needs effectively. Managing
director Nathan Baranowski explores the technology behind
digital transformation in the health and charity sectors.
Digital technology is often underutilised and even less understood – particularly by
those within the health and social care sectors. Since its founding in 2009, one of
the major undertakings that ojo solutions has driven forward is in this sector.
The modern world of technology can be scary
It can often be lost in the world of
solutions and acronyms and buzzwords. In short, we translate complex technical
innovations into something that the layperson can understand – guiding the
process from early design stages to implementation. The key is that anything we do
to provide a real, tangible benefit.
Technology in the modern sense only really exists for two purposes: to make us
healthier and preserve life; or to make our lives easier. Information is all around
us. In our private lives we consume it for personal gain. For some reason, perhaps
because your IT team locks down your corporate device and gives you something
five years out of date, that simplicity goes out of the window in business.
At ojo, take the “ease of use” mantra from consumer technology and apply it to
business. It’s a remarkably simple mission statement, but tech firms are too caught
up in the next big thing to make the last big thing accessible for its user base. Worse
– as with Windows XP in medical technologies, these systems aren’t designed
»Established in 2009
»Based in Bath
»No. of employees: 8 full-time
»Services: Digital transformation
»We’re one of the only digital
transformation specialists with
our own dedicated lab – if we
see something is needed, we
can make it from scratch
15OJO SOLUTIONS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
to change as time goes on. They’re
locked into specific operating systems
Tech for the public good
Famously, the NHS recently attempted
to digitise its records. The failure
was, in part, due to the size of the
organisation – changes weren’t rolled
out everywhere they were needed,
which resulted in a hodgepodge of
organisations using either digital
technology or paper-based systems.
That’s the main problem. Technology is
moving so fast that the only ones who
really know what’s going on are the
ones who are doing it. Customers trust
the people selling them technology to
know what’s best for their business
and they accept substandard solutions
on trust. People are selling “solutions”
that aren’t needed, and what’s worse,
they aren’t even effective. Helping
companies go digital has to come from
a place of mutual understanding.
This is where we come in
Our mission is to help organisations
better understand the way they
can use technology to solve their
business needs and to navigate
the ever-changing technological
landscape.With our work in
healthcare, this correlates directly to
the public good. So how do we do it?
It takes three steps:
It’s about taking the technological
process and putting the customer first.
It may be what every business tells
their clients, but let’s face it – money
comes first. It’s why service contracts
or various add-ons exist.
Our approach, however, actually
This is because we manage the
whole process – from start to finish.
Someone has to help bring health into
the 21st century. Why not us?
What makes ojo different?
Ourvastly experienced team guides our
customers through the entire process,
combining consultancy expertise with
cutting-edge, integrated solutions
that transform the way business is
done: enabling digital services for their
needs, built from the ground up.
Transformation is difficult, challenging
and often frustrating. One of our
clients, the Disabilities Trust, faced
a similar challenge to one seen by
a range of charities: how to focus Developing award-winning
mobile applications for
can’t just be a
Ithas to allow
when change is
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Highlighting best practice
16 | OJO SOLUTIONS
funding and infrastructure in the
best way to meet its goals. Our
Innovation Lab was more than up to
the task. The reality is that for many
organisations, and certainly in the
health and social care sector, they’re
doing that with ever decreasing
budgets. Moreover, they’re being
asked to deliver more with less, and
If we integrate technology and
change the way we work, we will
save money. That’s a fact. That
money can be reinvested in training
healthcare specialists and can see
their wages increased. It’s one of the
tragedies of our time that those who
perform the greatest amount of social
good often see the least return on
their investment – whether time or
Through technology we can take
the pressure off their shoulders, to
better inform them, reduce costs
and increase their impact. We allow
computers to compute and humans to
When we use the word technology
we often think about IT, the latest
gadgets, the scary and fast-paced
world. Yet technology has been with
us since the stone age. Whether it
was the first person to use a tool
to cut something, the lightbulb, or
augmented reality, at their time they
were and are innovative. Today,
they’re a part of modern life.
An app for a patient’s mobile device,
for example, that, if they are lost, can
show them directions, meaning they
don’t have to call for help. This not
only saves the time of their health
assistant, but also allows for greater
independence and autonomy through
technology. People, quite simply, want
to live their lives on theirterms and do
not want to be nannied or constrained
in their choices.
One of the key services we offer at ojo
is innovation – we’ve created our own
dedicated lab to help solve challenges
through technology. At the Disabilities
Trust, I was also the interim director
of technology. They aren’t a big-name
brand, and the odds are you won’t
have heard of them, but they do
What we did: Transformed a no-tech company into a high-tech one
What we delivered: We brought the Disabilities Trust into the
modern world by getting rid of legacy technology, delivering
connected, secure systems, and simple purpose-built solutions.
Timeline: A four-year programme with a five-year strategic vision
The result: By installing a suite of new technologies, the Disabilities
Trust can now deliver more and
more with limited resources.
Employees across the country can now access Disabilities Trust
information securely and effortlessly, making them more effective in
their day-to-day roles.
Servicesinclude providing specialist care, rehabilitation and support
for people with profound physicaldisabilities, acquired brain injury
and autism.Beforethe team atojosolutionsmet Disabilities Trust
just under four years ago, thecharityhad little or no technological
infrastructure in place – hindering its ability to do its jobs effectively.
What does ojo do? We identify and solve problems simply. We
make it easier for health organisations to do what they do best – just
far more efficiently and with fewer resources. The next challenge is
to take this attitude as wide as possible and change healthcare for
through effective digital
Tech for tech’s
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
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.