A year in review: Reflecting on 2020

Trying times. New normal. Social distance.

2020 has introduced a new vocabulary into the workplace as every sector, industry and business has faced unprecedented challenges and disruption.

At Apadmi, as we’re reflecting on 2020, we recognise that many businesses have been forced into unthinkable circumstances, and we’d like to express our thanks as we wrap up this year to everyone who supported us and helped us advance through the pandemic.

We sat down with our CEO, Garry Partington, to discuss 2020, and his thoughts on how we’ve faced the challenges it’s posed…

Identity: Who is Apadmi?

“We’ve got a large and growing client base where we help people make mobile apps and the back end system integrations that deliver them.”

-Garry Partington, CEO

At the start of this year, Apadmi were half the size they are now. Growing from just under 100 employees to almost 200. We moved into our new custom-built HQ and then promptly moved out to our homes to weather the pandemic.

There’s a mantra at Apadmi that ‘the only constant is change’, and that’s never been more apt. With so much change, it’s been key to maintain our sense of self and what it means to be Apadmi.

The Fantastic Four: Our founders and their influence

“I came up with the idea for Apadmi a long time ago and pitched it to three friends, about how we could build a different business and I think we’ve delivered on that. We wanted to build a business that cared about its people, but also cared a lot about its clients and making great products”

-Garry Partington, CEO

We’re the UK’s leading mobile-first digital agency. Our roots go back 20 years to the very beginning, with the development of the first-ever smartphone. Our company was founded by four friends who saw the emerging potential of app development, and they’re still part of the company to this day.

This has given Apadmi a solid core, and from there we’ve always focused on creating the right environment for industry-leading development and innovation by investing in people.

Support: Investing in our team

“Teams have organised smaller events and we’ve put on fun events virtually every Friday since the start of lockdown. Those things, as a team coming together, make me very proud.”

-Garry Partington, CEO

This year we continued to invest in people with several initiatives around mental health as well as exciting company events, like virtual visits to Dracula’s Castle and Machu Picchu.

We also recognised the challenges presented by current events and gave the parents within Apadmi the opportunity to work outside of core hours, as well as providing free laptops as a resource to help them continue to educate their children.

Productivity: Accelerating during the pandemic

“We’ve been used to using collaboration tools like Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for several years now, and this just became the natural extension of that. Where previously there were more people in the room than were on Teams, now there’s no one in the room and everyone is on Teams. That’s a difference we adapted to quite quickly.”

-Garry Partington, CEO

Like many businesses who moved from their city-centre office to bedroom desks, kitchen tables and living room laps, we were initially concerned about a drop in productivity.

However, throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a slight increase – employees no longer have travel concerns to worry about, and clients no longer require face-to-face meetings that can sometimes involve time-consuming journeys.

We’ve also seen a lot of other businesses recognise the need for mobile apps, as their physical locations have been forced to close – and their management teams, forced to re-think and adapt.

New horizons: The future of technology

“The new technologies for next year that are going to be interesting, revolve around things we’ve done quite a lot in this year, like AR and VR – we’ve been talking about those for some time. But I think, if I take a step back from that, it’s not just about the tech, it’s about how you design and create something useful that people want to go back to time and time again.”

-Garry Partington, CEO

Alongside new opportunities, we’ve also seen many new technologies develop over the last year. As more people have been at home we’ve seen the increased importance and adoption of connected devices, artificial intelligence and voice technology.

At Apadmi, we believe that these three areas will continue to expand in 2021, with more focus on IoT development allowing end-users to marry their devices together and unlock empowering functionality.

We’ve already developed solutions in each area, with several projects in development that draw upon this experience.

Celebration: reflecting on 2020 positively

“This year we’ve brought on 10 new clients, that’s great for a business like us in times like this – 10 new clients who will hopefully be with us for a long time to come.”

-Garry Partington, CEO

During 2020, we won several awards including our first European Agency Award for Most Impressive Growth and made it into the Clutch Top 1000 Global Companies – two of our proudest achievements to date.

As we look back on 2020, we’ve shared many of the challenges and uncertainties felt by other sectors, industries and companies, but we also take comfort in how much we’ve been able to change and achieve in this turbulent year.

Thanks for supporting us this year,

Merry Christmas from the whole Apadmi team

and have a happy new year!

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