DDigital319This year’s annual South West tech showcase, the SPARKies, look set to be the biggest yet, thanks in no small part to our wonderful headline sponsors, Deloitte Digital.

What do they do? Well, while the wider Deloitte is a world-class global IT consultancy and industry-focused business strategy firm, the Digital arm has looked to harness the best aspects of a small creative agency, offering advanced advice on everything digital, from strategy and data optimisation to cyber security, social and mobile. They work with all kinds of clients, from the most exciting startups to well-established British brands.

We spoke to Colin Clarkson-Short, Partner at Deloitte Digital, about the business, the South West and, of course, the SPARKies.

TechSPARK: When was Deloitte Digital set up and why?

Colin Clarkson-Short: Deloitte Digital was set up around two years ago so that we could differentiate our work from the rest of the firm and portray a different image in the marketplace.

Deloitte is already a world-class global IT consultancy and business strategy firm, we’re trying to take that experience and knowledge and bring it together with the innovation, energy and passion of a smaller digital agency; focussing on all areas of digital strategy, from mobile, social/web, content management to managed services – helping our clients to understand and profit from the online and mobile revolution.

TS: Does Deloitte Digital only work with major global companies and organisations?

CC-S: No, we work with clients of all shapes and sizes – ­from iconic British corporates like John Lewis and M&S to exciting, agile startups like Pocketsales.

We pride ourselves in being very responsive to our clients’ needs. We work readily and rapidly with clients on all types of initiatives, from e-commerce to websites, mobile tools, cyber security, strategy, social and data optimisation. That’s the beauty of having a small agency mind-set – we can move quickly to provide whatever is required.

TS: What kind of projects have you developed and worked on so far?

CC-S: Deloitte Digital has worked on many interesting and varied projects for companies such as Tesco, AdobeCondé NastDiageo and all of our projects are pushing the leading edge of the digital industry.

So with Tesco, for instance, we created a brand-new Tesco Bank app from scratch; this was the first application ever to receive a 5* rating on iStore within 4 weeks of going live. With Waitrose we worked on rolling out iBeacon technology – so if you hold up your mobile near a display of drinks, the beacon will tell you everything you need to know about them (perhaps how to make the best cocktails…) and also offer personalised recommendations and relevant offers.

Our South West clients currently include Clarks Shoes, where we’re implementing a new global e-commerce solution, and Imperial Tobacco, where we’re effecting a new way of working, creating new mobile tools for salespeople, and implementing a new strategic CRM platform. We’re also working with various government agencies, in one case investigating digital retina-scanning techniques, and Matthew Clark where we’re working out how the business can adopt a digital strategy. And there are many others too!

TS: Why did Deloitte Digital decide to be one of the main sponsors of the SPARKies?

CC-S: Bright, talented people are the lifeblood of our organisation, and encouraging innovative thinking is one of our key business aims – as demonstrated by our internal Innovation Investment scheme, where Deloitte employees are offered a chance to win a slice of a £25m pie and launch their own startups with the full weight of the firm behind them.

With this attitude permeating everything we do, sponsoring the SPARKies, and therefore helping to promote some of the most innovative tech people in the South West, seemed like a perfect fit.

‘’The most interesting companies to us are those that are harbouring ideas that have not been done before. We love figuring out how to take these ideas further and benefit businesses both large and small’’


In the each of the last five years we’ve taken on over 100 graduates and trained them in various technology disciplines, including digital, and our ambition is to continue doing the same over the next five years. The South West tech hub and others like it represent the future of the UK’s digital skill-set, and it is critical to our business plan to get involved.

TS: What do you and the team like about being based in the South West?

CC-S: The South West has a great reputation for its leading universities, and along with all those eager, inquiring minds flooding in to the region has come a culture of entrepreneurialism. We love to work with the free-thinking individuals who are giving life to the ideas and businesses of tomorrow, and there are certainly plenty of those people here.

Deloitte Digital is currently looking for innovative ways of working with talent in all over the country so that we can better serve the needs of our clients. We’ve always got positions on our website for those who are interested, plus a fantastic graduate programme.

TS: What other areas are Deloitte Digital looking to expand into?

CC-S: We’ve expanded rapidly over the last two years, with our growing client base being testament to that. We look to take on challenges that have not been delivered before – in whatever area that might be. We want to be at the forefront of the digital industry, helping our clients benefit from the solutions and services that are springing up via the blossoming of new technology – including people and companies that are based in and around the South West.

TS: What other companies in the same field do Deloitte Digital find interesting or impressive?

CC-S: The most interesting companies to us are those that are harbouring ideas that have not been done before. We love figuring out how to take these ideas further and benefit businesses both large and small.

‘’At their core, our studios foster creativity, collaboration, and the delivery of pixel-perfect digital solutions”


In the last two years, Deloitte has grown to become the number 2 digital agency in the UK, and we’re interested in working with people and companies that also want to move in our direction.

TS: Are there any companies or organisations Deloitte Digital would really like to work with or for?

CC-S: Deloitte is already working for many of the leading companies both globally and in the UK, helping them to profit from the digital revolution – but we’re always on the lookout for more opportunities! We’ve very keen to join forces with other organisations where appropriate, and above all we’re keen to employ and work with the brightest and best in tech.

Thanks to Colin for taking the time to speak to us. You can learn more about Deloitte Digital on their blog here or follow them on Twitter. And come and say hello to TechSPARK while you’re there too.

Louise Trimby