"Ever since those early days it's been a constant learning curve and it's never stopped because we are continuously pushing boundaries and inventing new ideas."
UKFast CTO Neil Lathwood
British cloud firm UKFast’s current IT director Neil Lathwood takes on a new role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) today, as the firm seeks to accelerate its DevOps approach and deliver even greater automation within its products and processes.
The DevOps model brings sysadmins and developers into one role, allowing businesses to streamline IT development and exercise end-to-end control over project delivery.
Lathwood, UKFast’s longest serving employee, joined founders Lawrence and Gail Jones in 2000 and now oversees technical delivery of all hosting solutions to clients alongside complimentary software creation and implementation.
Following a number of internal technical promotions across his team, Lathwood is stepping into the role as UKFast’s first CTO.
Lathwood said: “The title of CTO means different things to different businesses. For us, the key focus of this role is to bridge the gap between the tech teams and R&D. It’s about connecting the day-to-day business of supporting our clients with the delivery of new products and features to help them grow.
“Our current DevOps team has grown massively in recent years and now represents around 20% of our workforce. I can see us adding hundreds more in coming years.
“By putting more resource into delivering products and building more automation into the provisioning, maintenance and monitoring of our solutions we improve our level of service, making things easier for our clients.”
UKFast has 18 years’ experience delivering business hosting solutions and its eCloud portfolio includes public, hybrid and private cloud, as well as cloud desktops; drag and drop vault storage; and flexible, OpenStack development space.
Lathwood continued: “When I got the initial chance to work with Lawrence and Gail it felt like a great opportunity but I never envisaged that it would become what it is today. Ever since those early days it's been a constant learning curve and it's never stopped because we are continuously pushing boundaries and inventing new ideas.”
During Lathwood’s 18-year tenure leading UKFast’s IT, the firm’s annual revenue has grown from £100,000 to £47m.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “Developing leaders from within guarantees a much smoother transition, which is incredibly important whilst we continue to evolve and grow at speed.
“We interviewed a number of CTOs but were unable to find anyone who came close to Neil’s skill, passion and understanding of our industry. I’m hugely excited to see what he does at the helm of this new arm of the business.”
UKFast owns and operates four datacentres in Trafford Park and is currently working on developing further DC sites across the region.