Using technology to bring big ideas to life

Imagination's Group Chief Technology Officer Anton Christodoulou talks digital transformations

How can a company that believes that anything is possible use technology to bring big ideas to life, without stifling creativity or costing our clients the earth?

The challenge for us, and indeed for any company striding out for digital transformation, is how to execute this in a way that is cost effective, scalable, secure and, most importantly, actually works.

Our transformation journey hinged on addressing some key challenges, and opportunities:

Integrating diverse disciplines

Throughout our history, technology has played a powerful and interesting role.

Integrating technology into a creative-first organisation required that we did just that: integrate. We focused on finding ways to embed technology into our creative work in useful and meaningful ways, not as a novelty add-on.

It is often the technology that you cannot see that is powering some of the most memorable moments.

The advent of technologies such as realtime gaming engines, VR, AR, and generative AI, is transforming our internal creative workflow, which in turn is bringing our creative and technical disciplines even closer together, and even creating brand new roles.

Building a creative toolkit

Creative organisations that pride themselves on creating fresh and new ideas might shy away from the idea of ‘repeatability’ – so deciding what can be repeated without compromising creativity is key to a successful outcome.

Anton Christodoulou, Group Chief Technology Officer at Imagination

What Imagination needed was a creative toolkit. A set of related but flexible technology tools to connect common elements of every experience at key stages. If they are common, there is no need for a creative way to do this.

In fact, just the opposite – there needs to be a very specific way that is also easily repeatable across every experience.

This unlocks rather than restricts creativity, as no single component is dependent on another, so the customer journey remains completely flexible. You only use the specific tool for the job, as and when you need it.

Connected Experience Playbook

A technology platform is only useful if it is grounded and capable of translating complex customer journeys into a set of repeatable components, without introducing significant technological overheads.

Applied through the lens of the end-user, we developed a simple to understand and non-technical process to define what is required to deliver each component and touchpoint in every customer journey.

By applying Imagination’s extensive knowledge and innate understanding of experience design, we were able to codify our approach.

Many tools already existed on the market to perform some of the specific functions we required. In fact, we retired a lot of code that had previously been developed in-house.

In our industry, one of the most important and critical ongoing components is the need to innovate, by putting Imagination into practise every day, in order to empower and inspire our teams and our clients, and demonstrate how we bring big ideas to life.

Our approach to this was the formation of Imagination Labs, our global innovation programme, and the physical and digital spaces we have created, so that we can always continue to experiment and learn.

By Anton Christodoulou, Group Chief Technology Officer, Imagination