Empowering the innovators

December 10th, 2021 Written by Ed Marshall

How Infinity Works has created a culture of innovation

When I look at the tech consultancies in the marketplace, ‘culture of innovation’ gets bandied around a lot. But as someone who’s worked in technology since I was 17, I’ve seen what innovation really means in practice and how it shapes people’s careers.

Innovation is often used as shorthand for landmark changes in technology – think Spotify for instance. And that’s certainly a part of it. But in my twenty-odd years in technology, what I’ve found is this: when it’s done right, innovation happens in all areas of the business. It’s about finding solutions to problems; applying an ‘outside the box’ mentality to everything, not just a particular product decision. 

What speaks to me is using the skills and experience of engineers to solve a new problem in the best way possible. And that’s where culture comes in: my role is to support our consultants to flourish and build brilliant solutions for our customers. And a big part of that is knowing when to step back and give people the space to shine.

Here are my reflections on what all of this means in more detail.

A culture built for innovation

Infinity Works is in the business of digital transformation, and innovative thinking is a key component of our culture. 

How? From the projects we take on, to the way we work with our customers, to our approach to learning and development, we think we’ve created a culture of innovation that breaks down barriers and clears the way for new ideas.

And all this means we have huge scope to effect change. We’re working with challenger businesses that are disrupting the market to industry-leading brands that need to adapt fast. That combination of greenfield projects and major migrations is really exciting. And now as part of Accenture, Infinity Works has unlocked a whole new world of opportunity. 

But let me be frank for a moment: we’ve become unashamedly picky about the projects we take on, because we want to attract the best people and the best people want to work on the most innovative projects! Our people want to think ‘wow, I was fundamental to how that was designed, built, and rolled out’.

To make a lasting impact, we collaborate differently

We don’t just build products. We build unique partnerships with our customers. 

That means we often work with them 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 we 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.

Here’s the thing: traditional approaches to consulting usually mean agreeing detailed requirements at the very start of the engagement – precisely at the point where all parties know least about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead! And yet those requirements become the contractual basis of the whole way the engagement will play out. It’s much better to adapt as we all learn more, through talking to the business and building the right thing as it becomes clear what the best outcomes look like. We can genuinely get to the best solution more often, in a way that delivers what the customer really needs.

We’re tech agnostic (for a reason)

It’s a very deliberate strategy: our 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. Because the more versatile you are, the more ways you can solve the problem.

It means we can pick the right tools for the job. It’s as simple as that. 

Hackathons, innovation days, and events have always been a major tenet of our culture, something we’re very proud of. We’ve of course had to temper our approach in light of the pandemic, but we’re very much looking forward to kicking off 2022 with a push back towards these types of events. Fundamentally though, these varied interactions create 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!

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 we rotate teams, moving consultants between customers and industries to expand their knowledge. And this means cross-pollinating ideas, lessons, and experience. 

It adds up to more value, faster, and in a safe space

One of the reasons businesses choose Infinity Works is because they can drive sustainable change, fast. We’re always looking for ways to deliver value earlier, to get a minimum viable product live, so we 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.

In my experience, the best ideas emerge when people have the autonomy to try different things, and a culture that promotes experimentation (whether it fails or succeeds).

I’m looking for innovators to work with me (but who may well think differently from me… that’s how we get to the best result). From full stack engineers to cloud specialists, we’re looking for people to join the team and get stuck in.

Join our team

At Infinity Works we do tech consultancy right. We hire great people and we look after them.

Written by Ed Marshall
Ed Marshall is Director of Technology at Infinity Works.