There’s a genuine Uber effect where businesses are being disrupted and are being broken. So that’s why a lot of digital change and digital transformation is actually about changing those cultural habits and behaviours.
Yeah I think digital for us has been probably less about an opportunity and more about a wakeup call, which was how do we essentially stay relevant to the new generation of consumers who’ve grown up using digital technologies from the day they were born. It was really important for us to embrace digital because we were putting a lot of product into the market; 600,000 physical units per year to folks that were getting their media from other sources naturally. I-tunes was becoming the dominant form of people getting music much wider than us. We were delivering a product that wasn’t even in the format that our customers needed to use it; so we knew that we needed to go digital in order to better service those markets.
And so digital for us though has come quite an enabler for essentially creating new experiences or revolutionising current business processes to make them more efficient or to build products from the ground up which are going to be relevant to that generation who expect digital to be part of an experience.
Large businesses tend to think of large projects and programmes as a default way of making change and often the best way to start is by starting. So we will often sit there and say set up a small team, set up a room; physical space is really important, and think of a problem, a very specific problem that you may be able to solve; set a hypothesis and build something quickly and test it.
The top tips for getting a digital partner in this space could be firstly really looking inside your business and figuring out what it is that the business wants and needs. Again thinking what are the minimum requirements that we need to get this product to market. Secondly, then finding someone who does have experience in that digital space who may be outside your business to give you much needed advice, both on the requirements and on the vendors that you might be vetting. Once you’ve got it down to a couple of vendors doing the hard yards of actually going to visit them in their own space to make sure that the capabilities that you’ve been promised are actually what the company is able to be delivered and then checking up on the references of those companies to make sure that they’re actually going to be able to deliver.
Being not afraid to fail is so fundamental and it's terrible because it's become a bit of a cliché this ‘fail fast’ view but it's so important. It's about being a little bit egoless and a bit willing to take those risks and say, “We spent two weeks on something and it didn’t work but the next two weeks was really valuable and the next month.” You know, there’s a new way to develop products and I think as an New Zealand economy it should be so part of our culture to do that and I think that we’ve got such an opportunity, ‘cause we are agile, we are quick, we can embrace that. You know, we don’t have the egos of other countries. So I personally think it's just an amazing opportunity for us to really, really make our play in the world.