6point6 was founded in 2012 with an aim to help companies navigate complex challenges they are facing today and haven’t even thought of yet. With clients such as the UK Home Office, BBC, Telegraph Media Group and recently valued at circa $100m, the tech consultancy’s name “6point6” comes from Planck’s constant ─ the foundation of all quantum mechanics ─ where the product of energy multiplied by time is a quantity called action.
I had the pleasure of meeting David Webb, co-founder and CEO of 6point6 to better understand how companies can navigate a post Covid-19 world.
David Webb, co-founder and CEO of 6point6
6point6 (C) 2021
Webb: “One of the main things I realised before I set up 6point6 was that the technology was always blamed for the failure of a project by the customer. The issue was actually the failure to apply the right technology stemming from a lack of understanding the client’s needs and an inability to understand how to do business change.”
It is fair to say many tech consultancies are set up with often gregarious technologists who are experts in their subjects, however sometimes they lack the understanding on how to apply it in the right environments at the right times. Interacting with clients to listen and interpret what they are saying to provide the right solution is key.
Webb: “Naturally, you will always want to go with what you believe the right solution is – however this may be too costly or take too long for many clients. One of the most valuable skills to learn is that often the client’s business drivers outweigh the need for the most complex technology solution. The ‘best’ solution may take years to deliver, but the revenue impact for the client if we do it in months could be more impactful for their business.”
In a post-COVID world, multiple sectors are ripe for further disruption – with many larger organisations within the financial sector and government greatly affected by the move to a digital and remote way of working. In having to adapt their legacy systems to a cloud-based model, many CEOs are looking to return to the status quo and reunite their staff with the office in some form – a move that presents many challenges.
Webb: “I think eventually we’ll see a move back to our previously established systems, however there is a definite need for many to innovate in order to compete with many of the newer financial companies who are operating with a digital-first approach. One example of this is Lloyd’s of London, the world famous insurance market, with its underwriting room in the heart of the City of London. While prior to the pandemic marketplace transactions were (unbelievably!) still mainly conducted by paper, they quickly adopted a virtual approach. Face-to-face interactions will remain, with their aim to continue delivering a better customer experience, and increase the market’s preparedness for the systemic risks the industry may encounter in the future.”
It is not difficult to see the next biggest digital transformation being within standard retail space. With well-known high street brands seeking to emulate the digital capabilities of the food retailers in regards to online ordering and delivery. Clothing retailers such as Nike, Next and Net-a-Porter have all started offering same-day delivery with a comprehensive online customer service, aided by the rise of services such as DPD.
roman becker/EyeEm – stock.adobe
Webb: “There are still retailers that have resisted the move to digital, and are lacking the user experience and smoother online interactions with customers that they are now beginning to expect. Primark, for example, is one of the biggest names that has avoided an online shopping service. I believe this lack of digital transformation has not only lost them money, but will ultimately lead to a loss of brand relevance to customers whose expectations of retailers have changed post-COVID – all age groups now expect a choice of purchase channels, including online.”
A key issue for many companies is cyber security, with hacking in particular becoming much more prevalent in the past 24 months. As this becomes a key issue for businesses globally it is clear much more needs to be done.
Webb: “The increase in cyber hacking very simply is because there is far more to gain and more riches to be made from attacking organisations. The pandemic has meant that instead of workers sitting behind a corporate firewall and secure infrastructure at work, they’re at home, disconnected from the organisation and more vulnerable to a different form of social engineering and hacking. For example, hackers can call or get in touch regarding something that many home users would experience, such as a slow Wi-Fi connection, and convince the user to download software to gather data. As employees feel more disconnected from their work environment, dealing with the added stresses of daily homelife, they can become more careless against attacks and hacking attempts. Firms must upskill their teams and invest in essential support to protect their teams and business.”
6point6 recently took onboard outside investment to help the business scale, something many start-up CEOs are exploring as they seek to take advantage of the opportunities created out of Covid-19.
Webb: “Looking for investment is a massive undertaking for the CEO as still running the business at the same time – it feels as if you have two full time jobs. Although it may be tempting to include your entire management team in the process to support, it’s essential to focus them on your core work and day-to-day running, so you have personal time to deal with the pressures of a potential raise.
A valuable learning for any CEO looking for investment is getting the right advisors from the very start, as well as experts that are eager to understand the essence of your company.
Webb: “From a CEO’s point of view, you must fully understand what you want from the people coming in, not just in terms of the investment you’re looking for, but also being part of the business’ future journey. We’ve been very entrepreneurial in our approach, navigating to new opportunities and reacting quickly where larger organisations are restricted. Our partner needed to have that in their mindset as that made us who we are today. A clash of cultures in how you operate would only create negative tension. Having that advisor by your side who you can articulate this to and be able to sense check at your side is invaluable.”
It is clear from chatting to David that companies and their leaders need to consider an ever more complex set of challenges as they emerge from the pandemic. Companies can no longer rest on their laurels in terms of cyber security – and digital transformation is sure to continue in a post Covid-19 world.
Source by www.forbes.com