Apply Digital is pleased to welcome Brian Lloyd to our team in the role of Chief Strategist, Platforms!
Brian brings more than 20 years of expertise in innovation and digital adoption for international businesses and enterprises to the Apply Digital team and clients. Brian will support our clients as they identify and launch the best platform solutions for their long-term growth.
We caught up with Brian at his home base in the Greater Toronto Area to ask him a few questions.
Question #1: Who is Brian Lloyd?
A: I’m married to an incredibly patient partner, and we have 4 children and 2 dogs, so as you can imagine, our lives are pretty busy, a little bit turbulent, and completely wonderful. That’s okay with me — I grew up as an only child and always wanted to have a big family.
I was raised in West Toronto by a strong and independent deaf woman and I credit that upbringing to the important role empathy plays in my personal and professional lives. I attended the University of Toronto and later augmented my learning with courses from several accredited institutions.
Question #2: What are some highlights of your professional career so far?
A: I’ve been fortunate to have evenly distributed time across enterprise, medium-sized, and start-up businesses. It’s helped me to really understand how clients and customers think on all sides of the stakeholder table.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the telecommunications industry. I’ve also worked in financial services, along with consulting in a huge swatch of verticals and spaces. This mix of experiences has been incredibly beneficial because it’s given me a front-row seat to the way external disruptions shake up specific industries as well as how they’ve affected industries across the board. In turn, this has helped me shape my perspective.
I’ve also been through four business acquisitions, and although it can definitely feel a bit strange, it’s showed me just how much big change can open up new opportunities. These moments of transition gave me the unexpected privilege of traveling for work to places like South Africa and Europe. If it were not for the opportunities these professional changes brought me, I would not have met my wife.
In my career, many of my moves have been intentional, and others have just been a good fortune. I would describe myself as passionate and energized, and look forward to what will happen next as I begin another incredibly interesting chapter of my journey here at Apply Digital.
Question #3: What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Chief Strategist, Platforms here at Apply Digital?
A: This is both a historical and future-facing answer.
One of the things I value most about my previous roles is that I’ve been able to embrace building relationships first and foremost. And that’s led to delivering the type of big outcomes we could look back at as a team and say “hey look what we did together as an organization”. It’s never been about me or an individual — it’s always about us as a team and the legacy of what we achieved together as opposed to individual pursuits.
Looking forward, I’m planning to continue to work that way, as well as embracing this new opportunity to strategically play and innovate. This role lets me tap into different parts of my skill set — creativity, innovation, imagination, technical knowledge, and business acumen. This role will allow me to exponentially amplify the things I love doing most.
I’m confident that great things are coming because I’m excited. And that will allow me to inspire that same curiosity, joy, and momentum in the people around me. We’re better when we’re the sum of all our parts and I’m really looking forward to getting into it.
Question #4: What do you think companies should consider when looking at the right platform?
A: It’s less about the right platform and more about the principles that a company needs to embrace in order to achieve amazing outcomes. What I mean by that is platforms come and go, new flavors of frameworks are released often and capabilities change, but as long as the right principles are in place, you’ll almost always make the right decision.
These might include the ‘boring stuff’ like the principles of technology and process consolidation, re-use, standardization, and security by design. But there are also prevalent principles embodied by the most forward-thinking organizations that are embracing something called MACH, which stands for microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless.
In action, MACH means building a software ecosystem that is at its core, flexible and extensible, and scalable whereby enterprise tools capabilities can be ‘stitched’ together through APIs instead of through a static locked-in single vendor technology suite. It’s focused on taking a “stacks over suites” approach to software and infrastructure architecture and solution design.
The MACH strategy is a much better set up for success in terms of flexibility, speed, security, user-friendliness, reusability, and future-proofing. It also makes it easier to meet both customer expectations and internal stakeholder demand. That’s because it enables business agility and market responsiveness. Instead of taking 2 years to replace a monolithic suite, you can implement several MACH-based platforms in days, weeks, or months for a much lower cost and as soon as it’s needed.
Question #5: What can partnerships with Apply Digital unlock for other companies?
A: The benefit that Apply Digital brings to the table is that we have the solution context and an ability to look at all these various partnerships to see which technology would be the right fit for a client’s unique business challenges. Each partner platform or technology solves a very specific problem, and they’re really good at that. But that technology is just one part of a larger ecosystem of technologies. Thinking about how a platform can be reused and plugged into multiple touchpoints is our forte due to our view of the landscape. The magic happens when all these different moving parts are orchestrated via APIs into impactful digital solutions. And that’s what we can help with.