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50 Best Companies to Watch 2023

Through its data, strategic choices, people, and capabilities, Alirity engages with businesses to bring about positive, impactful change

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“While the focus is frequently on technology, we like to adopt a business-led approach and first identify the problems and the need before considering potential solutions and how they might be successfully implemented.”

Alirity offers expertise to businesses and individuals on their journeys towards change and digitalisation. With 20 staff members and more than 20 associate consultants, it provides services to clients globally. The firm serves a variety of clients, ranging from large global enterprises to new market entrants.

Alirity has seen high growth over the last three years and continues to evolve its proposition to better meet market needs and demands.

The firm was founded in 2016 and is based in the city of Brighton and Hove on the South Coast in the United Kingdom.

The Silicon Review reached out to Charlie Symonds, CEO of Alirity, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview Highlights

Q. What circumstances or events led to the creation of Alirity?

Alirity was founded to enable more data-led design and transformation delivery. Too many transformation initiatives were being led by IT and holistic sustainable design was not taken into account. This was backed up by a vision to move to an outcome-based proposition for clients seeking to improve productivity and quality in digital delivery.

We looked to provide a proposition to address, 1) the lack of transparency and certainty in many change deliveries, 2) the change in working patterns, and time to market, 3) improved access to the knowledge economy, 4) the waste in delivery within the industry, and 5) organisations not utilising data and analysis properly to support decision making and design.

Q. What are Alirity’s key focus areas?

Our goal is to help organisations deliver positive, impactful change. This is typically data and digital-led, but we make sure that our clients fully grasp the how, what, and why, so they can approach situations with a more holistic view. While the focus is frequently on technology, we like to adopt a business-led approach and first identify the problems and the need before considering potential solutions and how they might be successfully implemented. Building cutting-edge technology is useless if you don't understand the ecosystem that it needs to co-exist in and people won’t use it. It is as much about the story of “why” people need to change as the “what”.

Q. Can you introduce us to your services? What are their primary features?

At Alirity, we build our process on four fundamental pillars: agility, clarity, sustainability, and data. Balancing these elements ensures a solid foundation for successful strategic design, change, and transformation.

This is underpinned by our core complimentary service areas: Data & Digital, Design & Delivery, and Strategy Realisation.

When working with clients, we take a first principles-based approach to data, digital, and technology, supporting organisations to navigate the complex landscape to create sustainable business ecosystems that drive value and align with their strategy. This is complimented by deep practical expertise to help navigate this landscape and drive sustainable solutions.

From a data perspective, we look to understand organisational and market context, and help organisations to unlock value and utilise information to help them become data-informed, supporting growth and efficiency and enabling data maturity.

Q. Can you provide us with a success story describing the challenges your client faced and how Alirity helped them overcome those challenges?

We have been lucky to work on some challenging and complex business problems across different industries and sectors. One of our clients had a clear strategic mandate to ‘go big on data and digital’.

The issue: An unsatisfactory internal audit had highlighted why fixing our client’s data was an essential task to harness the true value of the organisation’s data. There was a fragmented landscape of data management and consumption including weak data ownership, data stored in silos, and low data quality. As part of the audit remediation, a task force was established to address foundational elements required to enable an enterprise data strategy.

The approach: We helped our client establish a data management program with a clear mandate to remediate audit issues and establish a data operating model. Leveraging our data operating framework, three areas were initially prioritised:

  • Working with key business stakeholders and change champions, a strategic analysis was conducted to redefine and establish the enterprise data management strategy and policies.
  • A data organisation and structure were designed, with the establishment of data domains aligned to core business functions. Enterprise Data Owners were appointed to enforce data ownership and stewardship across designated business domains.
  • An enterprise data governance framework was operationalized through the establishment of governance forums to drive increased accountability.

Once the first phase of the operating model was functional, we mobilised a team to conduct a data maturity assessment benchmarking data management capability to industry standards; and prioritising initiatives for maturity uplift (in line with the enterprise data strategy).

The result: A year on from the initial audit outcomes, we completed and passed audit remediation, resulting in the approval of enterprise data management controls that would support governance and policies across the organisation.

The organisation also achieved an on-par data maturity score relative to the pharmaceutical benchmark. Finally, we secured a multi-million-dollar budget to drive strategic initiatives for data maturity uplift.

Q. What's the one thing you want Alirity to be known for?

By facilitating significant change and helping our clients in building enduring capability, we aim to earn their trust and establish Alirity as a reliable partner.

Tell us, what’s next for Alirity.

In addition to expanding our client base, we also want to strengthen our partnerships and knowledge networks as we expand into new industries and markets. This is alongside building out the digital tools that enable us to deliver value quickly, utilising data.

Our immediate horizon sees us focusing on, 1) building out our sustainability frameworks further into our design processes, 2) extending our Data Value Framework to help organisations realise the value from their data, 3) extending our delivery and analytics toolsets to integrate generative AI, and 4) building out our technical data capability in South Africa.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add before we wrap up?

Advancements in networks, systems, and technology mean that the pace of change has accelerated. Organisations are going through huge disruption, and traditional models will struggle to survive if they fail to adapt quickly. Modern challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and overpopulation, and their longer-term impacts, have accelerated the need for us to rethink how we do things.

We must leverage tech for good and consider the impact of the changes we make, not just on the bottom line but on the people, cultures, societies, and environments we ultimately operate in.

“At Alirity, we build our process on four fundamental pillars: agility, clarity, sustainability, and data. Balancing these elements ensures a solid foundation for successful strategic design, change, and transformation.”