Ever wondered how one of the UK’s leading management consultants stays at the top of its game? We’ll let you in on the secret…
Innovation is key to digital transformation, so it’ll come as no surprise that Infinity Works has built its entire culture around it. From the projects they take on to the way they work with their customers and their unique approach to learning and development, they’ve created a culture of innovation that breaks down barriers and clears the way for new developments.
Infinity Works is a tech consultancy that specialises in digital transformation. They work with challenger businesses that are disrupting the market and industry-leading brands that need to adapt fast. That combination of greenfield projects and major migrations is really exciting. They’re unashamedly picky about the projects they take on because they want to attract the best people and the best people want to work on the most innovative projects.
“We try and pick engagements with real challenge and real meaning. They’re not the easiest projects, but they have a real tangible impact,” Neil Dunlop, Digital Delivery Director at Infinity Works, explained. “You can see the end result of our efforts, you can see people using it, and you just think, ‘Wow. I was fundamental to how that was designed, built and rolled out.’ So our team feels really invested, and that’s a big thing for motivation, being invested in your work.”
Building collaborative partnerships
Infinity Works don’t just build products, they embed themselves in the customers’ culture, working in tight-knit, blended teams to understand the problem and find the best solution. There’s no us and them, everyone works together towards the same goal, so you can drive real, lasting change. And by that, we mean streamlining processes, upskilling teams and changing the very culture of the business because there’s more to digital transformation than just engineering.
“One of the ways Infinity Works drives digital transformation is by working really closely with customers. In other companies, the engineers don’t talk directly to the business, so even with the best will in the world, you end up building the wrong thing. But at Infinity Works, you don’t have those barriers, so you get a solid understanding of what the problem is and what you’re trying to achieve for the customer.” Ben Kay, Delivery Lead at Infinity Works, told us.
Choosing the right technology
Infinity Works is tech agnostic. Their T-shaped consultants have experience in a wide range of languages and a focus on building cloud-native services on AWS, Azure and GCP. They adopt new technologies fast, adding them to their arsenal, so they have the right capabilities for every job. And they encourage their consultants to do the same, because the more versatile you are, the more ways you can solve the problem.
“The range of technologies we use is a huge bonus because it means we can pick the right tools for the job,” Richard Allen, Digital Solutions Director at Infinity Works, told us. “And of course, technology changes all the time, so we run hackathons, we do innovation days and study groups, we hold events – and it all just creates a spirit of ‘let’s try it and see what happens’. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but if it does? Brilliant!”
Innovating in every industry
From Yorkshire Building Society to Starling Bank, Moonpig to LANCE, Infinity Works has helped some of the biggest names and most exciting start-ups in the country. What’s great here is that they rotate teams, moving consultants between clients and industries to expand their knowledge. This never-ending variety fuels innovation and helps them bring a new perspective to every job.
“The breadth of projects and technologies you can get involved in is amazing – and we aim for people to get experience across all of them,” Ben Foster, Principal Consultant at Infinity Works, told us. “During my tenure here, I’ve worked for a national healthcare provider, a major logistics company, and a big gaming company. I’ve worked on big data platforms, I’ve worked with elastically, scalable cloud technologies, and now I’m migrating a big enterprise-scale system to the cloud.”
There’s a phenomenal level of talent at Infinity Works. They now have 500 consultants across four offices, each with their own unique skillset – that’s a huge pool of knowledge and it’s growing every day as they embark on a continuous programme of learning and development. Their Communities of Practice are an important part of that, but they also act as an enabler to drive innovation.
“It’s a way of creating a collective throughout the business, so even though we’re all on different accounts, in different offices, we can all get involved in the same conversations and watch the same talks,” Ben Kay, Delivery Lead at Infinity Works, told us. “It’s a rich resource that you can tap into, so if you have a particular problem, or you want ideas on a particular approach, you can put it out to the community and solve those problems as a collective.”
One of the reasons businesses choose Infinity Works is because they can drive sustainable change, fast. They’re always looking for ways to deliver value earlier, to get a minimum viable product live, so they can open the feedback loop and start making improvements based on real-time data. Innovation doesn’t happen overnight, it comes in iterations – one feature at a time, one release at a time, until you have a game-changing product.
“We’re moving away from long projects,” Richard Allen, Digital Solutions Director at Infinity Works, told us. “Instead, we ask, ‘how can we get something out and get feedback as early as possible? How can we build a platform that allows us to pivot based on what customers want and what the business needs?’ The technology is usually the easy bit, the challenge is transforming the people and processes that use it.”
If you want to get the best out of people, if you want them to think outside the box and push the envelope, you have to give them autonomy – and Infinity Works does. They empower you to make decisions and find the best solution. Everyone has an equal say, regardless of specialty or seniority, and because you’re involved through the entire lifecycle, you can really help to shape the solution.
“It’s about creating a safe space for people to be innovative,” Ben Kay, Delivery Lead at Infinity Works, told us. “If you create a safe space where people feel supported, where they feel empowered, where they can work autonomously and lead the process, I think they will naturally lean towards innovation because they have the freedom, confidence and security to experiment.”