Connecting you to the digital world

We're passionate about making technology simple.

We know not everyone has access to the latest gadgets and gizmos. That’s why we specialise in finding smart, real-world solutions to your existing technology challenges.

Learn more about us

Intranets, Websites & Extranets

We build custom websites, intranets and extranets

Big, small, internal or external - we use our experience and expertise to deliver changes with lasting impact.

Working Remotely & Online Events

We get people collaborating effectively online

We take the stress out of running big, complex events online. We offer advice and on-the-day support to help you collaborate seamlessly over MS Teams or Zoom.

Simple UX/UI Research & Design

We take a simple, user-centred approach to UX and UI

We get form and function working beautifully together to deliver websites that ‘just work.’

Information & Data Analytics

We use data analytics to inform business decisions

We can help you manage and organise your data so that it becomes a valuable decision-making asset.

Development & Support

We develop software solutions based on your business priorities.

If the best technology for your job is already out there, you can trust us to recommend it. If it isn’t - we can build it for you

Widgets, tools and apps

We upgrade and improve existing systems architecture

We can get your systems, applications and processes working better together with some clever digital widgetry.

Process improvement development

We make improvements to workflow processes and automation

We get technology working smarter so your people can focus on the tasks that really add value.

Training
& Adoption

We get people onboard with new technology

We write and deliver training sessions to maximise adoption and ensure one of your biggest investments isn’t wasted.

Analytics & Variation Testing

We use analytic insights to make your website work harder

We use analytics and variation testing to give your website the winning edge.

About us

We are a specialist web and digital technologies company with more than 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sector.


Terry Willat

Partner & Managing Director

Connector. Strategist. Planner. Marketeer.

I began my technology career over 20 years’ ago as a training consultant for Microsoft, which was a fantastic launchpad for the varied roles I’ve held ever since.

I’ve worked for big, global companies like Rio Tinto, RSA and Direct Line Insurance, where, as Technical Project Lead, I partnered the business to deliver [examples of impressive projects online sales marketing platforms/technology upgrades etc…]

Include career highlight? E.g Big upgrade at RSA…Include a few numbers/percentages - they always sound impressive!

I also honed my global online marketing skills during long-running partnerships with public sector organisations, like VisitBritain and Visit England

Now at CIDA digital, I get to share my knowledge and experience to help our clients’ businesses thrive online. I’m passionate about bringing people together through technology and using it to enable them to achieve their goals.

And when I’m not connecting people, I like to… [a bit of personal info in here family/hobbies]

Connector. Strategist. Planner. Marketeer.

My varied and rather eclectic background has a common theme – people.

Supporting, connecting and helping people get the most out of their technology. Working for many years as a Microsoft training consultant opened a lot of doors, and for the past 10 years I have been helping companies collaborate more effectively.

First-hand experience with global companies like Rio Tinto, or financial intuitions like RSA and Direct Line have exposed me to a wealth of practices that can be shared with my clients. Long running relationships within the public sector with organisations like VisitBritain and VisitEngland, have given me an insight to global online marketing.

My overarching aim is to help clients successfully achieve their goals!


David Copp

Partner & Technical Director

Developer. Architect. Problem Solver.

I really cut my programming teeth during the early development of intranets, web portals and applications. (I’m sure I can’t be the only developer who’s delighted the days of Macromedia Flash and Frontpage are behind them.)

Over the past 20 years I’ve held senior technical roles at American Express, AIB, RSA and HSBC. I know many different coding languages from C#, Java, Lotusscript (yep, Lotus Notes Domino) to PHP and Javascript. I will always have a particular affinity/soft spot for classic ASP - simply for the fact it's where much of my development started.

During my career I’ve seen the very best and worst of practices and gained a deep insight into what does – and doesn’t - work on the web.

As CIDA digital’s Technical Director I draw on my knowledge and experience to guide our clients towards the best outcome – and then help them deliver it.

I believe technology exists to make life easier – it’s my driving force. I've never come across a problem (yet!) that couldn't be solved by willingness and good deal of creative thinking.

And when I’m not solving problems or spending time with my family, you’ll find me out in one of my sea kayaks, running or climbing

I have an overwhelming desire to get technology to make life easier.

I've never come across a problem that couldn't be solved by willingness and good deal of creative thinking...

I started with training wheels on the early development of intranets, web portals and applications. I'm happy to look back on the days of Macromedia Flash and Frontpage, but even happier to see those days behind all of us.

I've worked with and for diverse organisations inside and outside of the financial services sectors. I've seen many great, and some not so great, examples of practices at places like American Express, AIB and HSBC.


Who we've worked with

Over the years we've worked for and with a diverse bunch of organisations such as:

  • Visit Britain
  • Chimera Recruitment
  • Intelligent Emotion
  • American Express
  • AIB
  • Rio Tinto
  • Thames Valley & Hampshire Police
  • RSA Insurance Group
  • Yorkshire Building Society
  • Cardno
  • HSBC
  • OMNIS Intelligence
  • Direct Line
  • Allum Manor House and Hall

Why are intranets so difficult to get right?

In November 2020, the Office of National Statistics reported that nearly 30% of the UK workforce was based away entirely from their regular place of work. These changes in remote and flexible working have altered the way we communicate and collaborate dramatically. And it looks like they're here to stay.

In the post pandemic workplace, intranets will have an even bigger role to play, so getting them right is critical.

If you’ve worked at any big company long enough, the chances are you’ve experienced at least one intranet redesign. And no doubt you’ll have heard how this was going to provide the answer to ‘all your communication, collaboration and learning needs in one place.’

Chances are those needs were never met.

In my experience, the vast majority of intranet redesigns are destined to fall short on delivering that cultural nirvana. Here’s why:

They set expectations too high

You need to be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve with your intranet and set expectations from the start. Intranets are essentially mashups of competing priorities, where every piece of content vies for attention. Because of this, it’s unlikely your intranet will ever have one simple clear purpose - and that’s okay because you’re not building the next YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, however sexy that idea might be.

For that reason, resist the urge to start with a shiny new design. Sure, it will get everyone excited, but it will also take the conversation down a rabbit hole about ‘cool new features’ people have seen on their favourite retail website or social platform. This is not that project!

They can’t change behaviours on their own

Your intranet cannot create an engaged, social, and collaborative workforce all by itself.

For maximum adoption and impact your intranet redesign should form part of a wider cultural change communications programme that links to the strategic goals of your organisation.

Make your intranet an integral part of your strategy delivery – not a sticking plaster over old wounds.

They put functionality before user experience

Focus on your users – put them at the centre of everything you do. A worthy goal of every intranet should be to get the right content, to the right people, in a way that works for them. And by that I don’t mean creating a highly personalised intranet – I’ve built those before and the reality is, most people will never look at their personalised options. So be bold, even brutal with your content. If it’s out of date or no one wants to own it, get rid of it! I appreciate that this is probably easier to write than it is to do, but unmanaged information diminishes the value of the entire intranet. Which brings me on to my next point...

They don’t have a firm grasp of what their existing platform can do.

First and foremost, your intranet should be simple, responsive and manageable.

But before you chuck out your existing platform in its entirety - an early assessment of what is and isn’t feasible is a good idea. It’s often amazing what can be achieved with the right attitude, some imagination and an IT department that shares your vision. Bringing in a tech expert who can translate your business objectives into a language your IT department can understand can make a huge difference here.

If it turns out your technology isn’t up to scratch, there are load of alternative options out there. Many claim similar features and benefits, so I’d recommend seeking out impartial expertise and talking to other businesses outside your industry to see what they’re using.

They don’t have a clear owner or governance

I’ve seen intranets owned by many different parts of an organisation from Marketing, IT and HR to Comms and full-on Knowledge Management teams. There are pros and cons to it living in each, but the bottom line is that someone needs to step up and really own it.

Nearly every intranet is bloated with unmanaged and out-of-date content. This affects the quality of the search (which often a reflection of the quality of the content it surfaces) and can erode user trust. So, spend time at the outset recruiting a network of content publishers and empower them to make the right decisions. Getting content right and keeping it right is essential if you want to build and maintain user trust.

And one final point on the topic of ownership - make sure yours has an enthusiastic senior sponsor who can open a few doors (and possibly a few purse-strings) to get things moving - successful intranets are hungry beasts that need ongoing resources and investment.

They forget about training and adoption

I’ve never (yet) seen an intranet so intuitive that it doesn’t require any training or support. Generally, the larger your company or the more complex the solution, the more time and effort is going to be needed to train and support your users. And the most successful examples bake this into their timelines and budget from the start.

As you launch you might run with more formal masterclasses to get people up to speed but as time goes by your new users will become the real experts. Find them and empower them to share their knowledge with everyone else.

They don’t measure success in the right way

Your intranet’s value should be measured in terms of what you’re trying to achieve rather than what you’re trying to implement. Remember people first, not functionality!

Consider these examples:

  • % of users that know how to comment on a story
  • % of users that feel their contributions are valued

So, you’ll want to measure using the second example, because the real gold here is understanding how engaged the audience is with your content.

Ultimately, the success of your intranet shouldn’t be measured by how well it’s received at launch, but how it’s being used in the months and years that follow.

Whatever stage your company is at with your intranet, if you would like a chat about it with someone impartial who really gets it and can help you navigate the various stakeholders involved, give me a shout. I´d be happy to share my experience with you.

David Copp

Co-founder, CIDA Digital

Contact Us

We're a friendly bunch and always happy to have a chat. Why not get in touch with us and see where we can help you.

The best way to get a hold of us is to email info@cida.digital and we'll get back to you sharply - be sure to include your number if you'd like us to give you a call.