More freedom, fewer barriers.
This is just one of the principles that Informa – a global group leading in intelligence, events and scholarly research – lives by, and just one of the ways in which they empower their tech team to work. Not only do they have incredible offices around the world and a great working culture, they also have decades of experience and are currently hiring for great roles such as Data Engineer, Technical Architect and CloudOps Engineer.
You may already know that Informa’s leading brands connect people with knowledge – they’re specialists in their own right – but what’s it like working for such an organisation and what types of projects could you get up to? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered as we sat down with Rob Jenkins, Head of Platforms at Informa to find out.
Rob Jenkins is Head of Platforms for Content and Media at Informa, in the Group Technology Division. Responsible for customer-facing platforms including Informa Technology, Informa Connect and Informa Markets Division, his team looks after the software development lifecycle of their estate. After a career rich in technological experience (including many tech transformations), he joined Informa as the company stood out for its projects, culture and tech.
Let’s see what he’s been up to from his perspective and how Informa is building for the future in 5 simple ways.
1. Informa stays ahead of the game by tapping into tech
As Informa is one of the largest events companies in the world, we are privy to lots of different technology brands and capabilities. Our tech division runs London Tech Week for example so we really do have visibility to a huge breadth of technologies. We’re the custodians of some of the biggest brands on the internet so we have to stay on top of our game from dark reading to information week to game development.
We also listen to our team members and what they advocate for and you can see this in the evolution of where we are currently. We’ve adopted evolving technologies so there’s never a dull moment working here and we’ve built our own Informa tech radar so that we know where we’re going, what we want to be building over time and we’re able to test this.
The world is seeing digital and physical worlds colliding more than ever; the convergence needed ensures that the work we do stays technically relevant, whether it be digital fingerprinting when we move around, augmented reality or virtual reality. It’s all really exciting and over the next five years, it’ll be very interesting to continue to take part in projects that use these.
2. We're in a period of growth and hiring for tech roles you’ll love
As a historically highly federated business, Informa has witnessed historic stellar growth, post this growth Informa is undertaking a journey towards becoming a full platform-led business focused on building enduring tech teams and technology capabilities. This consists of full-stack development across the software development cycle.
Not only that but Informa invests a lot into our teams. We have £1.4m in apprentice levy funding to spend each year. Couple this with access to Pluralsight skills and flow for every member of the team, and you’ll understand how we’re building for the future.
There’s never been a better time to join. Some roles we’ve been hiring for include Technical Business Analysts, Scrum Masters, Full Stack Developers, etc. We’re also looking for Agile Service Managers, Site Reliability Engineers, DevOps engineers and a lot more so if you're wondering how you can get involved, keep reading!
3. Informa maintains a good team culture and collaborates internationally
With the advent of technology teams and asynchronous retros, there are tools to collaborate well across multiple time zones. We have teams in the UK, US, India, and Asia, as well as tools such as Atlassian and JIRA to ensure engagement. We’re also big on communication so we make sure we have regular outputs and engagement pieces as well as the proverbial watercooler catch-ups, where we can also speak freely about anything.
As a hybrid team and remote working organisation since pre-COVID times, we have focused on empowering our teams to work in the best way for them as well as providing space for people to network and meet up such as in London or in New York too. Any organisation that gets this right over the next ten years will be highly successful, and whilst it’s a challenge, it’s worthwhile and enables us to work really well in this capacity.
4. Informa follows the 5Ps
My team tracks our progress against the following 5P Framework: People, Platform, Process, Profit, Purpose & Protect. Having this framework helps us to collectively understand our context and what it is that we need to achieve. Let me give a few examples.
People are core to everything we do here and we invest well into our teams to have a positive effect and drive our business growth.
We are very clear on what platform we’re building. We do this by asking ourselves: what is my AS-IS? What is my TO-BE? What is the delta between the two? How do I get there? And how do I build towards it so I can get clear direction? This helps everybody to be aligned.
Process is the right way of doing things, for example like the Agile Manifesto. How do we build the tools end to end so we can make sure that we're delivering that capability, everybody's aligned, and there's no wasted energy?
These are just a few examples but it’s to show that this is how we plan to achieve the endgame of what we’re trying to build for our users.
5. We continue to challenge ourselves to be the best
We’re a global specialist events company at our core, and that means we want to get the right information to the right person at the right place at the right time. It’s a challenge, but one that we lean into. We like to champion the specialist – in fact, this used to be key to our physical events but we’ve found that knowledge and growth is much more.
As the world keeps changing, so does Informa. Take when I started working for example: even though I started with phones (which originally were physically plugged in data cables from one point to another) it eventually moved into mobility and had the ability to allow users to move around. It’s the same with finance - historically you needed to physically go into a branch to take money out, and it’s completely changed now.
That’s why our mission of trying to provide specialist information to people and connecting people to be able to grow and evolve, has changed again. We’re ready to merge these worlds together and forge a new path, all with the specialist knowledge of our teams.
And that’s it!
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