Making sense of IT... to shake up a huge market
CoPerceptuo wants to help IT pros while transforming consultancy
A theme among a bunch of startups I’ve come across recently has been helping businesses make better sense of the data and knowledge they already have.
If you’ve spent any time working in big organisations, you’ll know there’s plenty of scope for this kind of product, if you can get it right.
With a strong background in IT consultancy, today’s founders think they’ve got a compelling offering in this space. Scroll down to read all about CoPerceptuo.
👀 Things you should know today
The UK Tech Cluster Group has launched its Ecosystems of Innovation report, detailing “four big ideas” it says can “harness tech’s potential across the UK”
Manchester Digital launched its Startup Review report just before Christmas, worth a look if you want to know more about the city’s ecosystem (I wrote a fair chunk of the report)
Staying in Manchester, internationally acclaimed newsletter The Mill wrote about the city’s A.I. aspirations and the challenges around growing the number of successful UK university spinouts. It’s paywalled, but worth a read (I gave some insights for the piece)
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CoPerceptuo wants to make sense of IT and shake up the consultancy market
‘Digital transformation’ can be a phrase that inspires fear in a senior business leader’s heart. An IT project within a big organisation can be costly and risky. Get it wrong and you end up with a multi-million pound white elephant that you–and your employees and customers–are stuck with for perhaps years to come.
That’s why IT leaders often bring in external consultants, to make sure the project is handled properly, the budget is right, the team is trained, it doesn’t cause problems with other tech in the organisation, and more.
Now CoPerceptuo wants to bring software into this equation, helping IT leaders make better-informed decisions about their technology. But it’s not just about digital transformation, it’s more broadly about helping IT leaders produce evidence about what they do.
The software is “doing for IT leaders what accounting packages did for finance leaders in the 2000s,” claims CEO Andy Shuttleworth on the startup’s homepage.
Shuttleworth comes from a tech consultancy background and spotted an opportunity to streamline high-level IT decision making within businesses.
“Often we find that IT teams want to align with the direction of their organisation, but they find it difficult to get the data to give evidence about how they're operating,” Shuttleworth tells me.
“CoPerceptuo is there as a means of guiding IT teams in gathering the right data to be able to generate the right insights to feed evidence into conversations that CIOs and CTOs have with board members and senior execs in the organisation, to prove that they are heading in the right direction and doing the right things.”
How it works
In its current form, CoPerceptuo allows users to collect data about their current IT setup, either via file uploads or manual entry. To ensure all the right data is included, the software can prompt the right people to contribute it from across the organisation.
“Playing on our consultancy background, we have something like 800 questions that you can ask, that can then drive maturity assessments and capability assessments that also add to the data points that you can get from the application,” says Shuttleworth.
“And there's also the ability to run surveys and get feedback from people who are consuming the IT services you're offering. All of those data points together give you a rounded set of information on which to make decisions, find compliance risks potentially, look at where you've got that sprawl of applications, data, technology, and how they're contributing to how the organisation operates.”
Shuttleworth says the software can then generate around 260 insights based on the data it collects. These include ‘organisation to IT fit’, budget and financial analysis, people and capacity analysis, environmental sustainability, and energy use.
Rather than waste time making users put everything they have into the system, CoPerceptuo works from the perspective of ‘if you want to know this, input this data’.
And the charts the software produces are accompanied by non-technical explanations of what they mean.
“It gives you an assessment of why it's important; what is this chart trying to show to your organisation and why could it be important. It's positioned so that CIO and CTOs can use that information to be able to present it to an executive in their language and their understanding. It’s about moving away from technical language,” says Shuttleworth.
The story so far
Shuttleworth started his career in the early 2000s, in tech outsourcing for big organisations working on digital transformation. More recently, he switched to consultancy in the same space, so it’s a market he knows well.
A few years ago, Shuttleworth and his consultancy business partner Andy Yates spotted a need for a better solution to communicate IT-related topics and projects with a wider organisation.
“We were already collecting a lot of data as part of our consultancy engagements anyway. And what we came to was a method of analysing the customer’s infrastructure and organisation, and creating diagrams that showed the organisation how they were operating from a technology perspective, where technology was used, and analysing those for risk issues and dependencies,” says Shuttleworth.
After beginning with versions of this idea created with spreadsheets and low-code/no-code platforms, Shuttleworth and Yates formed Manchester-based CoPerceptuo as a new business in 2022 to develop a proper software product.
They worked with thestartupfactory.tech to develop the first version of the software, and Shuttleworth says they have recently brought on board their first hire to start to transition on from that initial incubation period.
Shuttleworth says CoPerceptuo is already generating revenue from paid pilot programmes, with more in the pipeline.
Building on this interest, he says the startup is assessing opportunities to serve the NHS and the local and regional government market as one opportunity for its next step forward:
“The public sector is suffering from inflation and budget cuts… so there's a bit more scrutiny around those sectors which is driving a more value-for-money approach to advisory services, which I think we can offer through CoPerceptuo.”
On the product side, the startup plans to increase the number of reports it can generate, responding to demand for things like cybersecurity, information governance, and cloud assessments among others.
They’re also looking to bolster the user survey side of data collection with the ability to generate deeper insights that go beyond scores like NPS. And they want to be able to get into business processes to identify opportunities for improved efficiency through automation; a popular topic in the age of generative A.I.
In the longer term, they aim to support third-party APIs and tools for importing data, financial management reporting, as well as exploring ways of using generative A.I. in the reports the software produces.
Go deeper on CoPerceptuo
Read much more on their funding and investment plans, vision, competition, and challenges: