How to Build a Culture of Contribution

Prior to 1995, I worked in the IT industry for 6 years. In that time, I came across many people who had been let down by their IT provider.

I figured that there had to be a way to delight customers instead of leaving them disappointed and dissatisfied by shoddy service.

I realised that if I wanted to do it my way, then I’d have to go out on my own. I resigned from my job in 1994, and started my own enterprise in 1995. Initially it was called Hattingh Technologies, and then CloudWays in 2017.

To improve my customer service and ensure my clients’ success, I chose to establish my business with a focus on contributing, excellence, and compassion.

A non-negotiable was keeping all my promises to my clients. I believed (believe) that integrity and honesty are essential in building lasting relationships. Keeping my word and delivering exceptional service became the cornerstone of my business philosophy.

I set about creating a culture that was rigorous on technology, but gentle on my clients. I also realised that I needed a team of people behind me that could drive the culture to the benefit of our clients. Today, I am proud to say that we have 21 employees fully committed to fulfilling the vision I had in 1995.

The CloudWays culture is underpinned by seven values:

  1. We’re committed to continuous improvement. To achieve this, we regularly review our processes and policies to identify areas for enhancement. Additionally, we value feedback from our customers and employees, as it provides valuable insights for our improvement efforts.
    2. We prioritise. It allows us to focus on what is most important and tackle those tasks first. This helps us make the most efficient use of our time and resources which benefits our clients.
    3. We plan meticulously, taking into consideration every detail and potential obstacle that may arise. Through thorough planning, we strive to ensure the success and achievement of our clients’ goals.
    4. We take a proactive approach so that we can anticipate problems and devise solutions before the problems escalate.
    5. We recognise what doesn’t work. And we learn from our mistakes in order to find effective solutions. We use the Kaizen approach, which means continuously making small improvements in processes and systems to achieve better efficiency and quality.
    6. We ask important questions so that we can get meaningful answers which then drive our clients’ IT strategy.
    7. We take responsibility for any mistakes or oversights that may occur; we are committed to acknowledging them and taking appropriate action to rectify the situation. Additionally, we strive to ensure transparency and accountability in all our operations.

“Our business is based on building trusted relationships with our contracting partners. After many trials with different service providers in the IT space, we can honestly say that CloudWays has exceeded our expectations. The level of expertise and professionalism has been a breath of fresh air.” Lauren Siokos, Operations Manager, CSP

Has it paid off? I think it has.

We currently have 135 retainer clients and another 100 ad hoc clients that use us when they need us. Currently, CloudWays is enrolling three to five clients a month.

Our oldest and biggest client has journeyed with us from the first day I started my business. Five of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years and 10 have been with us for 15 years.

I believe that this is a testament to CloudWay’s culture of caring and the dedication and commitment of our staff to setting our clients up for success.

I believe that the genesis of our success started with the following question so that I could clarify the culture, “Why do I exist for, and how can I contribute to my clients?”

I hope this short article has given you some ideas on how you can build your own culture of contribution. 

Abrie Hattingh
Cloudways Group