Fight or Flight: The Key to Digital Innovation

Air New Zealand's GM of Digital Strategy and Capabilities, Simona Turin explains the importance of utilising your digital platforms.

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Simona Turin at CxO Disrupt, Auckland
Simona Turin at CxO Disrupt, Auckland

In a world where everyone is digital first, where exactly do businesses which offer non-digital services fall?

The trouble that many struggle to get past is that digital involves countless platforms and trends, and it’s impossible to tackle all of them.

Simona Turin, General Manager of Digital Strategy and Capabilities at Air New Zealand, stressed the importance of picking only one target and focusing on maximising the potential of that.

“Digital strategy is probably one of the hardest things to do, because you look at all the digital trends and there is so much going on at a very fast pace, so what are we going to focus on first? This year, Air New Zealand said mobile first,” she said at CxO Disrupt, Auckland.

Turin explained the reason behind targeting mobile experience is that the smartphone has become ubiquitous to modern society, with 68% of people looking at their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up.

The problem Air New Zealand found was that their infrastructure was outdated and they were looking at making a faster, better user experience on their app.

“How do we create and deliver products faster with legacy platforms?” was the question that Turin asked herself and the staff when looking at adopting a new strategy.

The answer is that you can’t. A strongly engineered organisation will inevitably have to get rid of dead technology and deal with legacy platforms.

In order to begin change, Simona says it’s imperative that everyone is onboard and willing to adapt to new changes and move on the flow to ensure that products are meeting the needs of the customer.

“You need to talk to your employees and look at how we can do things differently. Be more agile and focus on product driven design.”

She explains that creating the right business and employee culture should incubate digital strategies from within rather than outsourcing their innovative ideas.

Creating the ultimate user experience starts with getting the employees on board and ready for change in order to remove legacy infrastructure.