Digital Transformation Conversations: Roxanne Salton - Part 2

Head of Digital Strategy & Delivery at Mercury

In the second part of our Digital Transformation Conversation with Roxanne Salton, Head of Digital Strategy & delivery at Mercury, she delves deeper into cloud platforms and emerging technology with Deloitte Digital Partner, Grant Frear. Catch up on part one here.

Let’s talk about innovation platforms, Roxanne, because the way in which they've developed over the last five years has been quite profound. Look at cloud platforms for example, where you can bring in aspects like machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). They seem to just keep expanding in terms of their capability set. What do you think that means for organisations?

One important development in those platforms is that they’re becoming much easier to use. You sometimes don't even need to be a coder or developer to use them, which makes them really accessible to new people and brings more diversity of ideas. That’s really exciting because I think it’s going to change and broaden the kind of things that will be created with them.

Digital transformation isn’t just affecting individual organisations – you can expand that to look at industries and economies as well. How do you think they will change?

Well since technology has become much easier to work with, it’s also become easier to see where different markets can merge together. In the end, when it comes to things like this, technology is an enabler. If there's a great need because there's a great problem to be solved, and two things can come together to solve it, then why wouldn't you?

For example, fruit picking has been a problem for New Zealand recently since it's hard to get the workforce. To deal with that, organisations have actually developed a robot to pick the fruit instead, equipped with AI so that the robot knows when the fruit is ripe to be picked. Not only is that solution smart but it’s technology which is available to another industry, accessible to use and actually affordable, all whilst solving a problem. 

I like the alliteration there - available, accessible and affordable. They're qualities which enable a shift and innovation platforms have all of those.

Definitely. Technology doesn’t cost that much anymore, so getting it is the easy bit. What organisations need now is the mindset to be open to new things and consider new alliances.

One of the global leaders at Deloitte, Hans van Grieken, said that you know you’re succeeding when you can innovate at speed, at scale and repeatedly. He said many organisations can innovate quickly at a small scale, but fewer keep that pace when scaled up. Not many can do it again and again either. Does that definition of success ring true to you?

Yes, and that idea comes back to my maturity pillars. Innovation and digital transformation requires several key elements: the right leadership; an agile way of working; a forward-thinking culture; talented people; strong partnerships. It’s not just about technology - it's about the people who are enabling you to make the big changes. That’s where we need to put our focus.