Successful Digital Technology Grant scheme supports local businesses

IT company Riverlite used digital technology grant funding to bring in external consultants to overhaul their existing digital platform and implement new services to their existing systems to help with end-to-end automation.

Based in St Neots, the company provides managed IT services for small-to-medium sized businesses. Their team of specialists and support service professionals are the IT backbone for many Cambridgeshire-based and national organisations in the charity, education, health care and private sectors.

Pre-pandemic, Riverlite had a workforce of 20 but had hit a “glass ceiling” with growth because of the lack of automation of its primary internal digital business system. They were relying on spreadsheets and human interaction between departments to run the business – which became tricky when people had to start working from home.

Paul Oggelsby, Riverlite MD

The company had never applied for a grant before under the assumption they wouldn’t be eligible, but after receiving help at the start of the pandemic through the Combined Authority, they heard about the ‘Digital Technology Grants for Business‘ scheme. They used the funding for a project to bring in an external IT consultancy to provide guidance on how their existing system could be better configured. They were also able to implement new services thanks to another consultation and brought in an external expert to help with digital automation.

Paul Oggelsby, Riverlite Managing Director said: “The grant came at the perfect time when we were looking to invest in ourselves. The scheme really was brilliant for us – it helped us take the plunge to invest in external help we wouldn’t have done without the opportunity.”

The company, which managed to almost double its workforce during the pandemic due to the demand on IT and the sky-rocketing rise of people working from home, has also been able to vastly improve the key areas they needed to with the assistance of grant funding.

Paul went on to explain: “Off of the back of the project we hired someone to focus on process and system improvement, and the reality of the project we undertook was that it has kick-started the changes we need to continually make to ensure the business can scale successfully.

“This digital technology grant project has led to the end-to-end automation of our processes and we’re now realising the benefits we wanted to see. It will enable Riverlite to compete with larger competitors and lift the current glass ceiling on our growth ambitions.”