A RICHMOND-BASED software company is continuing to grow as it approaches its tenth anniversary in November.

IT Accessed specialises in writing bespoke software systems for manufacturers and companies who want to do things their own way and not be forced to follow a software package.

It says bespoke systems are a more cost-effective way forward and has seen its client base grow across the North-East and Yorkshire, to the North-West, Midlands and South-East.

Its customers range from large industrial companies to very small organisations.

IT Access also provides training for users to operate their systems safely and efficiently.

Allyson Cole founded the business in November 2004, after a career in manufacturing and IT in which she reached director level and travelled the world.

She would like to see more women involved. “Women in technology are actually rarer now than they were 20 years ago,” she said.

“I really don’t understand why. If you are creative, design-oriented and can communicate, IT is a great career for women.”

The company works with a number of associates and Allyson believes their business is ideal for someone wanting to work from home.

Craig Archibald, her husband, joined her in 2009, after being made redundant from his marketing job in the packaging industry.

He took on the sales and marketing of the business, along with the finance and general administration.

He said: “The key to our business is that we specialise in software, and have not spread ourselves too thinly by moving into other areas of IT which are more than adequately covered by other companies.”

Allyson said: “We are a tech company but our business is all about communication, making sure that both we and our clients know what their business needs, by listening and not getting bogged down.

“This is made easier for us by our experience as managers in manufacturing companies that has made us very aware of how they must integrate with the employees.”