On Sunday 28th February, Sprout IT celebrated its 15th Birthday! From its humble beginnings back in 2006 to its recent acquisition by CTS, Sprout IT has been on quite the journey.
Since beginning operating in 2006, Sprout has seen fantastic growth year on year from the creation of Sprout Cloud in 2013, opening a new office on the other side of the world in New Zealand in 2017, and building a new home in Farringdon for our employees in 2019, Sprout continues to push the boundaries of what it is capable of within the legal IT market.
The company boasts an outstanding client base with unrivalled customer retention while providing IT Support, Consultancy, Strategy and Private/Public/Hybrid Cloud services to the Legal sector. Bringing together talent from across the industry, Sprout IT has built a collaborative and creative team that has worked towards our mission ‘to power the world’s finest legal system, into the future’ and put our clients first at every step.
Starting at Board level with CEO Danny Killeen, COO Matt Torrens and CFO Angela McNaughton, the business focuses on collaboration, ambition, mutual growth and shared responsibility. We asked the board about their experiences, memories and thoughts on Sprout IT.
Sprout IT CEO, Danny Killeen, looks back at where it all started and the growth over the last 15 years at Sprout. “It began with two guys and an idea, to 60+ staff and £8m+ revenue. It’s taken some hard work, of course, but also lots of fun. I have worked with some brilliant people, still do, and they have made the steps toward success seem rather effortless.”
COO Matt Torrens soon joined the team in 2007, bringing a wealth of experience in secure, innovative and outsourced IT services and a focus on the value of relationships built on trust. “At the beginning, we may have had a vision, but we didn’t have a roadmap in place to achieve it. It’s fantastic to be able to look back at our achievements with pride and friendship. Who knows what we can achieve next.”
Shortly followed by CFO, Angela McNaughton, who built up a range of skills and worked up to be a board member of SproutIT and comments, “When I joined Sprout, I did so for the culture, to be part of a growing company and to be able to effect change. We were around 15 people when I joined full time in 2014, and I knew that being part of the team with Matt and Danny would enable me to be a part of something special, providing variety day to day and opportunities to input into the future of the business.”
There is always a flood of Sprout IT activity, but we want to know what your favourite thing about Sprout IT is?
Danny “The pleasure of seeing careers and lives being built.”
Matt “The friends and fantastic memories, made so far.”
Angela “The variety, whether that is the people, the clients, the tasks, there was always something new to experience.”
Sprout is known for its quarterly client networking events and is a social hub both internally and externally. What is your favourite social event that you have taken part in at Sprout?
Danny "2019 Summer Sports day was one to remember. Sunny, with a good turnout and no serious injuries – though a few lost their dignity/breath during the sack race. We crawled our way back to Farringdon that evening and met Joey - our first apprentice - fresh off the plane from our New Zealand office. A good few stayed out to keep our jet-lagged Joey company."
Matt “We’ve been very social over the years, but my two stand-out events were the 24 Hour 3 Peak Challenge in 2018 and the 100km non-stop walk in 2019 – both pretty brutal, but also a great way to get to know your colleagues! COVID robbed us of a 2020 event, so I am relishing the next opportunity.”
Angela “If it can be classed as social, it would be the 3-peak challenge for me. I learnt a lot about the other Sprout members along the way and probably a lot more about myself whilst on the trip, great personal achievement, great company, and a well-earned celebration afterwards.”
Sprout has embedded growth into its values from client growth, employee growth and business growth, but what is the biggest lesson you have learned while being on the board for Sprout IT?
Danny “The power of we.”
Matt “Great minds think alike. But, so do idiots.”
Angela “The road never ends; you are never done learning or developing! There is always more to experience and learn from. A good example being Covid and how to adapt the business to such a change.”
If you could go back in time and give your past self-one piece of advice when starting Sprout, what would it be?
Danny “Think bigger, always”
Matt “Grow your grit – you’re going to need it.”
Angela “There is always tomorrow.”
The future looks bright with Sprout’s acquisition by CTS expected to impact not only it’s only staff and clients but the legal industry as a whole, pushing the digitisation of UK Chambers forward and introducing the latest technology and expertise into the legal market.
Danny “Scale is critical given the rate of change of technology, and the increased amount of technology adoption within law. Specialisation is necessary to keep ahead, and that is what the merger will bring – more people, with more specialist knowledge, and a greater ability to deliver real client value from those experts.”
Matt “We are now part of the CTS family, the largest specialised MSP to the UK and Irish legal sector. Together, we have created an opportunity to go on and achieve something extraordinary.”
What does the future look like for Sprout staff and the benefits the merge will bring?
Danny “Our now, looks like it would have done in 2026, but it’s been delivered in 2021. We’ve taken a leap forward to become the largest Legal Specialist MSP in the UK and will work to reassure we’re also the best. There is a job, a career and countless opportunities for everyone here. I am proud that I have delivered those opportunities by bringing our teams together.”
Matt “Sprout’s historic growth has enabled us to provide excellent career opportunities. Now, as part of CTS, those opportunities are bigger and better, and I am sure our colleagues will seize the day.”
Angela “My initial thought and still the main one is the opportunities provided by the company being 140 people versus 60. Be that career-wise, technology, training, experiences, the benefits to the client of more resource and greater funding in technology.”
What do you hope to see in the future?
Danny “I want to see Sprout contribute to the growth of the group and together attain our primary goal of being the biggest and best in UK Legal IT as part of CTS 2.0.”
Matt “Reward and recognition for colleagues who deserve it, delivering world-class service to happy clients who enjoy maximum value from long term partnerships, built on mutual trust.”
Angela “CTS to reach its goal and be in the top companies to work for awards.”
It’s been an incredible journey at Sprout IT over the past 15, made possible by our colleagues, clients and supporters. Thank you for being a part of it, and we look forward to seeing Sprout, through CTS, continue to contribute and impact the future of legal IT. And in Angela’s words, “To infinity and beyond 😉”