The role of technology, and the IT leader has changed significantly over the past 10 years. No longer is IT just a supporting function for business – IT and the technology leader are now part of the value chain, and intrinsic to meeting business goals and objectives.
IT & Digital leaders need to be able to stay abreast of the latest developments and disruptions to ensure they can meet the demands of fast changing and evolving customer expectations and behaviours.
Noord Group’s Liam Heraty had a chat with Agility In Mind CEO, Andrew Jones about digital transformation, the pain points and challenges faced by CIOs and the upcoming double Dialogue in Manchester – IT & Digital Leaders Dialogue and the Tech Infrastructure Dialogue.
Andrew, can you tell us how you got involved with the IT & Digital Leaders Dialogue in Manchester?
“We have attended previous strategic thinking Noord events which have been very well attended and provide a schedule of informative and inspiring discussions. So, we know your pedigree and ability to deliver a well-organised, enjoyable event! This year, there is the really exciting prospect of meeting with IT and digital leaders at the inaugural Manchester location – the up and coming IT hub outside of London. This, coupled with business agility and digital transformation being such hot discussion points amongst industry leaders, we felt the timing was right for us to be more involved and meet with organisations where we can be of real business benefit. We look forward to contributing to the 16th annual event and helping make it a successful one.”
Tell us a bit about your background
“I started Agility in Mind Ltd. 8 years ago having spent my whole career in technology – from software engineer to business manager and consultant, covering most industry sectors. Having solved problems for clients and going to market with new ideas, I gravitated towards using agile principles and practices as a way of enabling businesses to deliver difficult software projects. Done properly, it just makes sense.”
What exactly does Agility in Mind do?
“Agility in Mind is a digital delivery transformation company. We help organisations around the world address the threats and opportunities that today’s digital world brings. We use agile principles and practices as an enabler for change and provide services that include agile coaching, agile training and agile product management, and programmes of change to achieve agile transformation and digital transformation.
Our goal is to achieve greater business agility for our clients, providing them with competitive advantage and improved commercial performance, which is dependent upon the effectiveness of individuals and teams in the organisation. We advise, coach and train people at all levels in the client organisation, from board level to development team, and we don’t shy away from the messages we need to deliver to effect change. We exist to help our clients shift their culture and outpace their competitors.”
What are you looking forward to most at ITDL in Manchester?
“Tough choice! There is a great line-up of C-Level speakers this year whom all bring their experience and wisdom to the event and I am looking forward to hearing their insights. However, we are particularly drawn to the huge level of interest in business agility and digital transformation which has brought about a focus stream at the event. We hope that our expertise can provide food for thought and help those organisations where they need to make effective change.”
What challenges are your clients currently asking you to solve? What are the current developments across IT and digital transformation that you can help organisations take advantage of?
“Many of our clients have, or have had, the challenge of finding a way of getting new commercial propositions to market quickly and responsively but aligned to their stated strategy. They often identify the problem in one area, such as digital development, but the real challenge is the end to end flow of a new idea through to realisation. In reality, this means working to unblock working practices across this lifecycle, helping individuals and teams to find ways to continuously improve. The problem is found in organisations or all sizes and ages, the solutions are similar as it requires helping people to find a better way or working.”
How does your service help CIOs (or equivalent)?
“Digital transformation is a key driver for CIOs in today’s competitive market. It’s the only way to ensure their organisation has the speed and agility to grow and stay relative. Going digital is not a nice-to-have anymore, it’s essential. Long established organisations are being threatened by digitally disruptive rivals and it is now an expectation for staff and customers to access corporate data and services from any internet-connected device, anywhere, anytime.
We help CIOs, the board or a senior team to build a transformation roadmap that includes identifying the intrinsic value in an organisation; enabling change and establishing a programme of continuous improvement. As leaders, they have a remit to spark change where it is required and keep it ignited.”
What sets you apart from the competition?
“At Agility in Mind we ‘practice what we preach’. We have built an effective team and created a brand and culture which delivers on great communication and flexibility. We constantly review, adapt and iterate meaning that we can navigate the challenges of modern business and continually improve. We do the right things for the right reasons and build respect for individuals and organisations by working collaboratively to find the better way. Ultimately, our focus is on getting better products delivered more effectively.
People are at the core of this approach and this is why we have developed a coaching, training and consulting model that builds confidence, equips people with new skills, motivates them to put things into practice and supports them when there are challenges to overcome. This is also why we avoid becoming a permanent fixture – we build confidence so that teams can run independently and don’t become reliant on support. Too many agile consultancies out there ‘drop and expand’ – this is not our business model!”
What examples can you give us where Agility in Mind have really made a difference?
“We have great relationships with our customers – from large programmes of change with huge organisations such as the BBC and RS Components, to training dispersed teams across EMEA and Northern America with Oracle, to individuals looking to further their career with certification. We deliver coaching and training in person and online via Webex all around the world. Andy Sloman (Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor) is one of our most recent customers and he will be presenting their digital transformation journey at 10.25 on the 9th.”
What will you be speaking about at the event?
“Ed (Edward Scotcher – COO) will be leading an interactive discussion on demystifying business agility to deliver true competitive advantage at 11.35 on the 9th. Ed is a renowned public speaker and enthusiastic agile evangelist who will be using real customer case study examples to dispel common myths and highlight key strategies for success.”
Want to be involved? Take part in interactive conference sessions and network with your peers from top companies across the UK.