Discover the innovative methods Leeds tech firms use to adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing digital landscape.
AI, the Metaverse, ChatGPT – the world of tech moves fast, so companies need to evolve and adapt in order to keep up. Luckily, the Leeds tech sector is renowned for staying ahead of the curve. From in-house academies to peer reviewing, here’s how three local companies leverage learning and innovation in order to adapt in a constantly changing landscape.
Putting learning in the spotlight
Infinity Works, part of Accenture, is a product engineering company with learning ingrained into its very core. In addition to its popular academy, which offers a route into tech for people from a diverse range of backgrounds, there’s a key focus on staff training and development, no matter what level they’re at. What’s more, its acquisition has opened the team up to cutting edge tech such as AI, helping them widen the proposition they can offer their customers.
Delivering tech-driven transformation to a diverse spectrum of clients requires a knowledgeable team with its finger on the pulse of new and emerging technologies. That’s why each team member receives five training days per year to work on anything that benefits learning and development. All team members also receive a designated people lead who will help them to identify opportunities and to secure approval and funding where needed.
When a team member completes a project, they don’t have to rush straight onto another piece of client work. They’ll enter a ‘green room’ where they can get hands on with learning and development until they’re ready to pick up their next project. If they want to go straight into client work, that’s fine too – everything is designed to prioritise the wants and needs of each individual. This bespoke approach to training allows people to pursue exactly what suits them.
The company leverages learning and past experience in order to better solve the complex challenges posed by its clients. “We do lots of skills training and development in house to help people solve those customer problems,” explained Natalie Lovett, Client Services Lead. “Training doesn’t end with a certification. The rest is how can we learn from all of the projects across the company in order to bring the best of that experience to this new customer challenge.”
Embracing new technologies
As an integrated agency, Creode works closely with its clients to help them stay at the top of their game. Offering everything from web development to paid search, team members work collaboratively rather than in silos, helping to generate incremental gains across a wide breadth of marketing activities. By focusing on continuous improvement and optimisation, they help clients grow in a manner that’s achievable, methodical, and most of all, sustainable.
The philosophy of continuous improvement runs through everything the agency does. From processes and systems to the way they work with customers, each team member is constantly looking to analyse and improve. By hiring naturally inquisitive people who take an interest not only in their own speciality, but in the wider impact that society and behaviour has on marketing, the leadership team ensures that all staff are driven and committed to the cause.
One interesting habit taken on by all team members is peer reviewing. Staff will review each other’s work at all levels – including junior staff reviewing the work of senior leaders. Not only does this offer up a great opportunity for teaching, it also provides an extra layer of quality checking, helping increase the overall standard of delivered work. Peer reviewing takes place across all teams, providing a constant pattern of learning, optimisation and self-reflection.
When it comes to adapting to new products and technologies, it’s something Creode welcomes with open arms, especially when it comes to improving efficiency. “I’m really excited by things like ChatGPT,” Guy Weston, CEO, told us. “You’ve got to embrace it. Let’s make our team’s lives easier and use some tech that does the research for them, for want of a better phrase. So, yeah, we do a lot of automating stuff to get rid of the grunt work.”
Leveraging tech in an innovative manner
Another tech company embracing innovation is Crisp, a Real-time Risk Intelligence company. Crisp was recently acquired by Kroll, the leading independent provider of risk and financial advisory solutions. Crisp protects brands, assets and people from reputational damage, security threats and online harms. By harnessing the power of machine learning and AI, Crisp provides market-leading risk intelligence to give companies peace of mind.
It all works by detecting online conversations in real time. First, Crisp alerts the client that their brands, assets or people are at risk and then tracks and analyses what’s happening, providing actionable risk intelligence to advise on the severity and trajectory of the digital chatter. By understanding the potential scale of the issue, the client can take swift action to prevent or mitigate the damage.
Crisp uses a unique combination of artificial and human intelligence, offering a great opportunity for people in the early stages of their careers to gain experience while working alongside innovative tech and intelligence analysts. With a healthy investment in training and plenty of chance to learn from senior staff, Crisp is an all round solid choice for those looking to kickstart a career in tech.
Innovation is key when it comes to tackling the speed and scale of digital chatter amid today’s accelerated risk landscape. “We recently invested in our product management organisation,” explained Claire Marshall, Head of People at Crisp. “It’s about how we leverage tech and use it in an innovative way to support our clients. We encourage innovation while making sure that we’re working effectively, efficiently and that we’re getting job satisfaction through it.”