James Herbert on the launch of Foundry4

The impact of Covid-19 on the performance of our economy and on our public services has bought into sharp relief how hard it is for organisations to deliver user focused, efficient and responsive services if they haven’t mastered modern approaches to technology, data and ways of working

We know true change is about people and not about cloud or RPA. But in a world where almost nothing can run without software then achieving genuine transformation without being very, very good at technology is virtually impossible.

Clearly Covid-19 is going to re-shape the economy for years to come. When you combine the legacy of a global pandemic with a fast changing data and technology landscape it is obvious that private and public sector organisations need serious help. Until now so much technology enabled digital transformation could be classed as “theatre”. Certainly, there have been highlights and bright spots but behind their websites most of our important institutions have changed very little.

They need a new type of partner to support them in seizing opportunity and avoiding peril; more of the same isn’t going to work. Systems integrators and the large consultancies don’t have a borne digital mindset, their business models are 20th century and they just don’t have the DNA to guide people through the Digital Economy.

Admittedly, there are some great, innovative SMEs out there. But they are often single issue, narrow and unable to empathise with the constraints and challenges of their larger, enterprise clients. Passion is great but if it’s unimplementable then impact is limited. 

That’s where Foundry4 comes in. Founders and leaders from Disruption, human+, Not binary, Arthurly and Questers have been working together over the summer to work out if and how we bring some of our great technology delivery businesses into one brand and in some cases one organisation.

We want to ensure we organise ourselves to support our clients through the huge challenges and opportunities to come. This means we need to adapt, develop and change as much as they do. It has taken us a while. We want to be hugely careful with the great brands that already exist in the component companies and ensure that this change creates more opportunities than headaches!  

Foundry4, will be a foundry for the digital age, combining the best technology and transformation expertise from human+, Notbinary, Disruption and Arthurly all underpinned by our scaled engineering operation in Questers. The business will be sector agnostic, – (apart from the FAANGS all sectors need help) – the drive into the commercial sector will be led by Liam McDowell.

Sacha Rook (who has been working at Group level for the past year) will become a full member of the new organisation as Chairperson and Chief Commercial Officer. He will continue leading the charge on group level Mergers and Acquisitions too.

Having all this expertise under one roof is a really positive step for our business and our clients. It helps drive growth and deliver sustainable change through the initial Foundry4 services specialising in:

Data and Intelligence

Engineering Excellence

Product Design and Build

Intelligent Automation

Platforms and Integration

The change will happen in phases. Phase 1 is to launch the new brand and integrate Not binary, Disruption and Arthurly. We have been busy over the past few months updating details with insurance, banks, suppliers, G Suite and HR accounts, as well as putting plans in place to notify clients, partners and updating employment contracts. We will be moving onto one Slack instance shortly and changing email domains, signatures etc.

Foundry4 has hired an exceptional Head of People and Inclusion in Sarah Williams and plans are in place to make more strategic hires. A new Azure architect and Head of DevOps will be joining in October.  

During September, as part of Phase 2,  we will be consulting on and designing the new board and leadership team for Foundry4. We will work closely with human+ to work out how we exploit the best of human + with the best of the new brand with the minimum amount of distraction and disruption (small d). 

If all goes according to plan we will launch Foundry4 on Monday 5th October. You’ll be seeing the new business being actively marketed with a more content rich website, new email addresses and social presence from that day.

I wanted to say a personal thanks to all the people involved in this process so far. Everyone has been a) incredibly patient and b) incredibly open minded. These are people who have built successful brands in their own rights. Business building is such an intense, hard fought and emotional experience but everyone has been able to look past understandable fears and personal attachments to do the right thing for their clients, teams and of course the group.

Combine an attitude like that with our unmatched experience and expertise and we can only be successful. I can’t wait to go on a new journey with these talented teams and to do our bit to help with the recovery from 2020.  

See you on the other side


James Herbert
James Herbert
Founding Partner