Wrapping up 2021

After a long, sometimes strange and challenging year, we’re finally taking a breather. Hard to believe 2021 is almost over. Given the ongoing impact of covid and the challenges many businesses have faced, I’m thankful to say, despite a few challenges, due to the type of work we do and the clients we work with, myself and the team at Arktouros have been busy delivering projects throughout the year.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the projects we’ve been working on. If you’d like to know more or find out how we can help your plans, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to have a chat.

We’ve done a lot of work for The Scottish Parliament this year and over the last 18 months or so. We designed and built a real-time voting system to allow chamber proceedings to continue whilst MSPs worked remotely. Our work on that was a key component of the wider Virtual Proceedings project that won the Digital Public Services Award in the December 2020 Scottish Public Service Awards, a great accolade and one we’re very proud to have been part of.

Image of Scottish Parliament Digital Voting site, in development.
Image of Scottish Parliament Digital Voting site, in development.

We also did a full website build project, again for The Scottish Parliament, completed at the start of this year and then handed over to their in-house development team who now manage it. We’re continuing to work with and provide support to the team, particularly around the introduction of new features.

Image of The Scottish Parliament full website build
Image of The Scottish Parliament full website build

As well as having a lot of experience working with public and government sector clients, we also work with a wide variety of private sector organisations. In addition to our longer-term client partnerships and support services, the team have also enjoyed working on a number of quick turnaround projects this year – in the financial, academic, automotive and charity sectors. This ranged from providing fill-in support on specific projects, to site reviews, updates and upgrades, troubleshooting and advisory services around strategy and priority development areas.

Business support – partnership and white label solutions

Over recent months it’s felt generally that everyone is starting to feel more positive and look forward again. Of course, things remain changeable as we’re all familiar with by now and there are still challenges (as well as opportunities) for many businesses.

Over the years we’ve worked in various ways with a wide range of agencies across the UK and some of the biggest brands in the world, something we continue to do. We often provide business support through tailored partnership/white label solutions to deliver projects quickly and to budget. For larger agencies we provide support to help fill skills gaps and supplement the services of their in-house teams. For example, if you have a project you can’t deliver due to lack of resource (a real challenge for many businesses earlier this year due to the pingdemic) or maybe you have inexperienced developers who need additional support, that’s where we help.

Image of plans and notes for The Scottish Parliament prototype website
Work in progress – notes for The Scottish Parliament prototype website

Sometimes that means we resource full projects, or it might mean we help out with specific functionality, or simply deal with that annoying bug list that no one has time to look at and just won’t go away.

Generally speaking, we support our clients by finding solutions and taking the pain away, and nothing phases us.  Our core offering is Sitecore/.Net development and we offer not only development expertise, but Sitecore marketing, Azure DevOps, Enterprise search and a whole host of other services.

With over 20 years web and over 10 years Sitecore experience, we’ve seen it all, from small bug fixes, and upgrades, through to full multi-site / multi-lingual builds and maintenance, for some of the world’s biggest brands, and some of the smallest!

Making the most of your budget

With the end of the calendar year just a couple of weeks away and the new UK financial year starting in just a few months, many businesses are planning how to make the most of any remaining allocated budgets as well as starting planning for the new financial year. If you haven’t already, now’s a good time to start thinking about it.

Costs and budgets are always a concern for businesses, particularly for small and medium size organisations. We all want to make sure we make the most of the budgets we have available and get best value, as well as setting realistic budgets and priorities in the first place.

We work closely with all our clients to understand their pain points and what’s most important to them and their business. We help find the best, most effective approaches and solutions. Even if you’re not sure which areas to focus your time, effort and spend on or what a realistic budget or expected outcomes might be, that’s fine, we have many years of experience to share with you. We offer implementation and code reviews so you can find out what’s going on with your site and we help you identify the priority areas to focus on, that will really make a difference to your business.

What next?

Drone flying, Scotland in the snow
Scotland in the snow

We have some exciting plans for next year, including moving to our new studio in Glasgow with over double the space we have now! We’ll share more about that and other news next year.

For now, we’re going to enjoy all that Glasgow and Scotland has to offer – beautiful views, experiences, sights, sounds and open roads as 2021 draws to a close, and we look forward to 2022.

Thanks to everyone we’ve worked with this year, clients, partners and agencies. We wish you a safe, happy and enjoyable festive break and look forward to a positive, inspiring new year.

If you’d like to have a chat about any of our work or to find out how we can support your projects, web development challenges or other plans, contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss.

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