Digital Link

01 October, 2014 by Admin | Events

Deloitte recently co-hosted its quarterly ‘Digital Link’ event with UKTV which was attended by 35 digital leaders. The theme of the evening focused on the need for digital capabilities and how organisations are reacting to digital disruption. With guest speakers from Facebook, Bloomberg and the National College for Digital Skills, some fascinating experiences and insights on the latest digital trends were shared.

Deloitte’s ‘Digital Link’ was established in 2012 as an invitation-only group for digital leaders with the aim of creating connections and building a community where digital trends are discussed, ideas shared and new insights can be gained. The format of the events usually consists of a mix of key note speeches, panel interviews, interactive table discussions and networking. Past events have been hosted at the Olympic Park, Facebook, Sony, Google, Telefónica Digital and Deloitte Digital’s own Clerkenwell office. The most recent event was held at UKTV, the third largest broadcaster in the UK and most well known for its ‘Dave’ channel. The success with which UKTV has approached digital disruption through its innovative approach to workforce performance served as a case study at the event.

CEO, Darren Childs puts the commercial success of UKTV down to staff engagement. Moving from linear problem-solving to a situation where everyone has a role to play in transforming the business from a legacy player into a truly digital enterprise (for example UKTV does not have a CTO on the basis that everyone is responsible for digital). Having a purpose, a reason to come to work every day, is very important and this has been built around the proposition of ‘The imaginative challenger’ - a long way off from its under-resourced, repeats-based origins when it was spun off from BBCWW.

During the panel interviews, the following question was posed, “How important are coding skills for your workforce moving forward?” Mark Smith, Co-founder of the National College for Digital Skills responded that over 200 companies across all industry sectors he had spoken to agreed that having skills in programming languages was a highly useful and employable asset. Rob Newlan, Facebook Creative EMEA Regional Director commented that the UK’s skilled workforce needs to become a ‘generation of makers’. He expanded on this by using the example of an 18 year old apprentice at Facebook who sent a link to his YouTube channel as opposed to submitting his CV. The point in case was that being proficient in coding and programming provides an effective method of tangibly displaying your talent and creativity. Adam Freeman, Managing Director of Bloomberg Media EMEA stated that all of his employees (from TV producers to journalists) have attended a coding course. He added that by at least having a basic understanding of coding, greater collaboration is generated in the workplace which enables Bloomberg to tell their stories to the audience in a more relevant way across a range of channels.

Another insightful question was, “What skills do you value when you hire someone to deal with the digital trends of today and the future?” Rob Newlan advised that the candidate must have a great cultural fit with Facebook. This includes people who truly understand Facebook’s mission of connecting people and who are looking to achieve something more than just receiving a paycheck. Facebook’s interview process includes five half an hour interviews along with a live working environment assessment. Rob openly admitted that often the people with the highest potential are not selected if they are unable to collaborate, communicate and work effectively with the wider team. Whilst technical skills are important, Facebook values ‘people skills’ more than technical expertise.


Whilst the Digital Link has predominantly focused on the Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) sectors, we are now looking to expand the community as digital is having an increasing impact across all industry sectors. We are finding that as companies and industries find themselves at different stages of digital maturity, there is much to be gained from sharing insights across sectors. As such, we are currently working with a leading Consumer Business organisation to plan and deliver an event that will focus on trends that are particularly pertinent to that industry. There is also great potential for collaboration with Deloitte Digital to showcase the breadth of our capabilities and experience. An example of this could be to deliver more digitally immersive events such as using the technology that Deloitte Digital applied in developing a personalised virtual reality commerce experience at the 2015 Adobe Digital Marketing Summit EMEA.


If you are interested in finding out more about the Digital Link please contact us and connect with us on LinkedIn.