CGI may not be a household name, but its innovation-based solutions are used across countless industries every day. “When you are working on a large business system, the IT is embedded,” says Angela Rixon, CGI’s UK Head of Digital Employee Experience. “It is not necessarily visible to the customer, which means your IT system is doing a good job.”
Since it was set up over 40 years ago, CGI has designed and implemented a host of sophisticated IT systems, setting up the network for international bank payments and supporting the UK’s smart-meter revolution. It is also behind software-based space systems that explore the universe, monitor our own planet’s health, assist with disaster relief and navigate the world.
CGI partners with the client organisations to ascertain what they want to achieve, and then identifies the best technologies to help them do this. The organisation has a number of ways of consulting with its clients, including horizon scanning to see how the competitive landscape will change; vision and innovation spark sessions; and embedded innovation programmes.
“Often clients are only focused on business as usual and dealing with this year’s target,” says Rixon. “Conversely, we regularly look at how their market is being disrupted and how it will develop, in order to help challenge their thinking.”
One area of focus for CGI is to work with organisations to help them get the best from their people by helping employees use technology more effectively. Identifying process improvement and the best tools can help employees feel more engaged. It can help to eliminate barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals and ultimately improve productivity. For example, CGI uses enhanced-reality collaboration environments that enable people to hold virtual conferences so they can work together within a far more imaginative environment than the typical conferencing tools. CGI enables clients to use new devices that facilitate collaboration – including wearables and virtual-reality headsets.
These innovations can have a direct impact on people’s lives. CGI worked with the Payments Council, now Payments UK, to launch the banking industry-wide account-switching programme and to implement the scheme at many of the main UK banks.
CGI also works with UK Sport, the organisation responsible for making funding decisions with various sporting bodies. CGI helped UK Sport establish its data management and analytics so that it can now analyse athlete performance quickly, more efficiently and more comprehensively than ever before. This has helped the UK maintain its position as a world leader in the application of data analytics to enhance the performance of its athletes and its sporting bodies. CGI has also driven innovation in healthcare with a patient app that assists doctors and nurses to track patients through their care path, vastly improving patient experience.
With a workforce of some 68,000 people globally, CGI aims to recruit graduates with analytical skills that match the capability seen in the industries it works with. Indeed, the ability of technology to enable companies to make better decisions has changed what employers look for in their workforce.
“Our aim is to become a strategic partner and advisor for our clients,” says Rixon, “and we do this through the introduction of our innovative, market-leading technology.”