BMT | Focus | Digital Transformation

Steve Smith - 30 years with BMT

I have been with BMT for 30 years, having first joined in April 1991, working in a project management admin role in the Research Directorate in Teddington.

Back then, many employees didn’t use a computer as part of their job and far less used the internet. There was just one computer in the building connected to dial-up internet.  The teams sent a letter, fax, or internal memo if the business needed to contact someone. We used the Telex machine more than the internet for the first few years of my BMT career.  

For me, the 1990s started a period of rapid change in the general uptake of (and reliance on) technology - in particular, the internet.  

I’d always been interested in technology and programming and was only too pleased to use some of those skills in my role at BMT.  I developed a web portal to support the management of several of the large EU-funded research projects we ran. Project partners from across Europe could log into our site to share documents and provide project reporting data. At the time, this was a big deal - when I started with BMT, we’d been using the fax machine and international overnight couriers to share the same information – which was laborious and time-consuming. 

The Research Directorate team in the mid-1990s

Whilst I was still working in the Research team, BMT had the foresight to register bmt.org in 1996 and launched its first website shortly afterwards. 

BMT’s early attempt at creating a website 

After working in the Research team, I moved to an IT coordinator role, still based in Teddington. As was standard at the time, I looked after almost every aspect of technology in our part of the business, and sometimes beyond – from procuring and supporting computer hardware to developing the company’s website and the early work in developing our first global intranet. 

As the world has relied more and more on technology over the years, roles in the IT industry tend to re-focus continually towards an ever-narrowing set of specialisms. My career shifted towards web development, and today I’m working as a full-stack web developer supporting our global Internal Communications – a role I enjoy.   

BMT has played a significant part in almost all my adult life. When I needed to move to a different part of the UK a few years back - I was pleased to be able to keep working for BMT, becoming an early pioneer of the “work from home” role that we’ve all got used to over the past two years.   

Today, I think it’s pretty rare to stay with one company for so many years. Although as a business BMT has changed a lot during my career, that same feeling I had in 1991 of joining an organisation of professionals doing exciting work remains today. 

It has been said before – but it is true, no two days at BMT are the same. 

Nobody can be pretty sure where the next decade will take us. Still, I am sure that technology and the internet – whether in the metaverse or somewhere else - will continue to play an even more significant role in everything our customers and we do. I look forward to continuing to play my small part in delivering solutions. 

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