A solder with hands behind his back

Why Zaizi is entering the UK Defence sector

I joined Zaizi in June with a big responsibility: to create and launch a new internal club, Club Lundy. Club Lundy will operate in the UK Defence sector. 

I’ve worked within defence for my entire career. I served in the Royal Navy for 28 years in a variety of ships and shore establishments including a number of roles within the joint environment, culminating in my final appointment leading Communications and Information Systems Operations and Capability Development at Navy Command HQ.

Following my Navy career, I have worked in sales, management consultancy and for a large global systems integrator. However, I’ve always wanted to work in a smaller company that has large aspirations to grow and the wherewithal to achieve it.

READ: Life after the armed forces: A future in cloud engineering at Zaizi

Entering the UK Defence sector

Zaizi’s speciality is designing, building and sustaining user-centred, secure digital services for the public sector. The company is growing fast, and we’ve set out an ambitious five-year plan which will see us expand our business into new sectors like defence and national security. The challenge to build a defence club from inception to fruition is an extremely exciting one.

A company like ours has a lot to offer the defence sector. We’ve worked within other government departments to create bespoke applications and secure shared working environments. We exercise user-centred design techniques to produce innovative digital solutions that make use of technologies such as AI, IOT and automation. 

We’re now determined to use our expertise to help defence users prioritise outcomes over output, delivering the right impact that will digitally optimise operational and business users’ use of digital technologies, as articulated within the Defence Digital Strategy.

The benefits of using a small-to-medium sized company like Zaizi is that we’re fast-moving and flexible. We can deliver Agile capability at scale in a way that is totally transformative.

READ: How mission-led teams can reduce waste in digital public services

Adopting a club model

We’ve established a ‘Club Model’ at Zaizi. We find this is an effective way of finding the best solution for the customer to tackle complex problems in a highly unpredictable environment.

It builds on the experience gained on deployed operations by General Stanley McChrystal who noted his observations in his book Team of Teams. Rather than using a multi-layered hierarchical organisational model, which has long been the preferred method in defence, we adopt a servant leadership approach across the entire organisation. This approach enables our teams to respond quicker, communicate more freely and experiment with solutions which leads to faster decisions for our customers. 

To grow our business in the way we want to, we need to find the right people to join us to organise them into mission-led teams. We’re looking for talented individuals with the appropriate digital skills –architecture, DevSecOps, user-centred design. A good candidate will have some previous knowledge of the defence sector and may have worked client-side in Defence Digital or one of the Front Line Commands. I’m keen to hear from people who can add real value to our team.

If you’d like to know more about Zaizi’s plans in the defence sector, please get in touch. Alternatively, you can contact me directly on LinkedIn.