Where do we start? It’s a great time to be a technology agency with so much optimism and positivity around using tech for good. But it’s been a challenging year too. The pandemic rolls on and affects how we live and work. As we arrive at the end of what’s been a testing year, we’ve taken the time to look back on several highlights, as well as what we have to look forward to in the new year and beyond.
2021 was the year for digital transformation
As far back as January, we pegged this year as a call to arms for businesses ready to digitise their processes, adopt new technologies or explore Web3. Of course, digital transformation isn’t a magic button, and even today, many businesses are struggling to modernise as the world changes so rapidly around us.
We joined 1% for the Planet
This was a big step for us. By joining this inspirational movement, we donate 1% of our gross sales to 1% for the Planet, who bring ‘dollars and doers’ together and invest money into incredible causes around the globe. These are vital non-profits, focusing on real-world issues such as climate, food and wildlife.
We remained device agnostic
We raised the case for developing applications for low-cost Android devices. It’s important to remember the bigger picture when you look at mobile device market share. A blisteringly fast 5G iOS smartphone is certainly an amazing piece of technology. But in other parts of the world, it’s a luxury that’s out of reach to many.
Developing countries approach everyday tasks that we take for granted (such as mobile banking) in an entirely different way to us, and it’s important to keep this in mind when producing applications and web services – particularly in the fourth sector.
We broke down the numbers around 5G
5G means faster YouTube on the bus, right? Well, yes. But there are myriad other benefits too, particularly when it comes to sustainability efforts such as smart energy, smart offices, industry 4.0 and connected health. We took a closer look at the industries that will benefit from faster and more efficient mobile data, and even how it compares to wifi.
We produced a mini-series on Fintech
When we think about applying technology to finance, we don’t instantly think of it as a way to make the world a better place. Instead, we may find ourselves talking about cryptocurrency or the new wave of neobanks such as Monzo and Starling. But the truth is, there’s something in fintech for everyone. From APIs to IoT and everything in between, fintech has the power and the funding to fundamentally change how we interact with our money, and how struggling communities can get better access to financial tools and technologies.
We changed our pricing model for the better
In an email to a client in March, Kerion said: “We are moving away from time-based pricing and to a value-based pricing model, which is a more accurate reflection of our experience, and offers greater benefit to our clients. For example, a change may take us 15 minutes to action, but it took us 20 years’ experience to get up to that speed. If it saves the client 30 hours a quarter, that is where the value is.” Learn more about value-based pricing.
We took another multi-part deep-dive, this time into smart cities
Much of what we do as an agency is the technical piece in a much wider, world-changing effort. Smart cities is a great example of a rapidly evolving movement with the end goal of a better, cleaner and greener planet. Smart cities are made up of hundreds of microservices such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, smart refuse collection and even wearables for public officials. Behind all of this are the apps, APIs and platforms that run it all. And that’s where we come in. Smart cities, forgive the pun, are going to be huge.
We became a registered ISO 27001:2013 company
It’s as exciting as it sounds. ISO 27001 is a standard for information security management, and in being officially registered, our clients can trust that their financial information, intellectual property and product data are all in safe hands when working with us. It’s a little more than just paperwork, and involved some pretty stringent risk assessment. The bottom line is, as we work on bigger projects with greater data, it felt like the smart and the right thing to do.
We looked at the tech that’s kept us ticking throughout the pandemic
Whilst we try not to take our work home with us, we are tech enthusiasts through and through. So it’s no secret that tech was partially what kept us going throughout 2021. From wearables to toothbrushes to VR, we took an introspective look at our favourite gadgets and how we think the tools and applications we use at home will have a direct effect on how we work.
We joined Tech Zero and Oxfordshire Greentech
Two big steps for us – one national, one local. Tech Zero is a group of UK tech businesses who work together to fight the climate crisis, and by joining, we committed to measuring our Scope 1-3 emissions and being net zero by June 2022.
Oxfordshire Greentech is a business network that supports the growth of the low-carbon sector in Oxfordshire, with their core aims initially attracting us to being a part of their venture: supporting local orgs, facilitating cross-sector collaboration and providing a platform for members to showcase their sustainable work.
Once upon a time, we built websites. Why we don’t anymore
The story is very much the same for a lot of agencies – moving away from traditional website builds and into broader technical applications. But we like to think we are a little different in that we don’t just work on anything for anyone. We stick strongly to our values and our purpose – an agency working exclusively on technology that benefits the world.
We hired James Potter, a superstar Project Manager
We’ve always seen the value in robust project management. So we were delighted to find James last summer. With over 20 years of experience in tech and digital, James galvanises our internal and client processes, and allows us to unlock extra efficiency throughout the agency. He also has a rather impressive beard.
We peeled the lid off the metaverse. A week later, Facebook rebranded
Coincidence? Probably not. But it’s a great blog, and if you’re still a little unsure what the metaverse is, where it is, and what it means, our article is a great start. From its origins through to its applications and its potential, we did what we do best and took a deep dive into what we think is an incredibly exciting time for technology.
We celebrated change with Nico Rosberg at Greentech 2021
Greentech Festival was a calendar highlight of 2021. With no shortage of fascinating and inspiring speakers and talks, we left feeling incredibly optimistic about our future and the role that technology agencies like ours can play in making various industries more sustainable. Paul Polman’s closing keynote ended with a question; “Is the world a better place because my company exists?” Our answer is yes.
We added more rip-roaring talent to the AAD team – Chris Bryce
We peeled our new Head of Design & Creative away from his work for five minutes to understand a little more about him, where he’s been, where he’s at, and what he’s up to.
“Design is the ‘translation app’ that allows people to make sense of a world of information that they otherwise may never have seen or understood.”
So that’s us. Whilst we are three years in to our agency journey, really we are only just getting started. We are beginning 2022 with new team members, a fully remote way of working, and several exciting projects – projects with purpose that we can’t wait to tell you more about.
Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at AndAnotherDay.