Agency infrastructures have changed significantly over the last couple of years. To over-simplify the issue: traditional agencies have had to make the first attempts at integrating digital disciplines, and digital agencies have had to adapt to the reality of trying to deliver bespoke builds against fixed price project models.
Both challenges are difficult, on a commercial and organisational level, and most will fail and fail again in their quest to achieve the holy grail of truly achieving Multi-channel integration, creativity, efficiency, quality and innovation.
The 2 challenges are inherently different from an operational point of view, but there is a significant common factor that the success of both rely on – the person who holds the role of Tech lead.
Historically (removing the relationship sales model from the equation), an Agency has defined and sold its product based on the talent and leadership of their Creative Director. Show me a Client who has hired an Agency without having met, vetted, and bought into the ideation of the Creative Director. However, can the same be said for the Technical Director?
The Technical Director is the person responsible for the big decisions and organisational, procedural and prescriptive ownership that are the key to the successful scoping and delivery of any technology product i.e. digital platforms/channels/objects. They are responsible for ensuring the product is built in a robust, scalable form; that converging technologies are compatible; that your data is secure and that your product is stable. This is a big ask. It’s also a rare person who fills those shoes successfully. As rare as the most talented Creative Director.