For tech security giants Alert Logic, the appeal of establishing its European HQ in Cardiff was apparent. It provided the opportunity to develop close ties with the universities of Wales, and the recruitment of its skilled graduates to meet the growing demands of the business.
Some of Cardiff’s smartest tech residents are helping to keep millions of people safe around the world. Security giants Alert Logic are based in Houston, but chose the 140-acre Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone as their headquarters from which to meet escalating demand across Europe, and swiftly formed key alliances with the city’s universities. Vice-President David Howorth says they had no time to lose.
“As a young, very fast-growing business, people are at the centre of what we do. When we identified that the universities were producing highly skilled graduates going into careers in IT security and government, we saw that there was an opportunity for businesses like ours to locate here and successfully expand. Part of our initial discussion was about hiring quickly and expanding our team here.
“Two years into our journey, we have not looked back, thanks to the success we have had in building a highly skilled and dedicated team in Wales. The team today encompasses a multitude of backgrounds and experience, from doctors of science focussed on developing our industry leading platforms, through to graduates starting their careers at Alert Logic.
“The success we have had in hiring a world–class team in Cardiff has allowed us to accelerate our development plans in certain strategic areas, and leveraging our relationships with regional universities has been a critical cornerstone in hiring the right sort of talent. This has included developing specific intern programmes, through to working with universities to support the development of their course programmes in order to ensure better alignment with our requirements for skilled graduates.
“Finding a central location so that we could take advantage of everything that Cardiff had to offer was also a key consideration when selecting Wales and Cardiff. With many of our clients and partners located in the South East of England, having fast, reliable transport links to London has been a major advantage. This has allowed us to leverage our facility in Cardiff to help drive our sales engagement with new prospect customers and partners, many of whom will typically visit our facility as part of their decision–making process. When compared to other locations that we were considering, Wales is just that much more accessible.
“Based upon the four or five other locations we looked at, the first impression as a US Headquartered business, was that the Welsh Government is committed to developing the IT sector. From our first interaction during the selection process, we have found the government very open to understanding our business needs and providing help and assistance when required, to support the rapid growth of our UK operations.
“I think Wales has a tremendous opportunity to continue to attract high –growth IT companies to the region. We’d encourage other companies to come and locate here. The company as a whole has been growing at 40 per cent year on year – more in the UK – and the future looks very positive. And Cardiff is a great, vibrant city with lots to enjoy and go and see. It has all the ingredients in terms of talent, location and quality of life to support high–growth businesses like ours.”