Interview – Tony Wickstead, GM Digital Transformation and Delivery, Fonterra

Tony Wickstead2A passionate New Zealander Tony has an unwavering focus making a difference for NZ Inc. and leaving a sustainable legacy for our children

Tony is an experienced digital technology leader and strategist with more than 15 years of Technology management experience. Tony has proven success leading Digital Transformation: Execution of Digital CRM Strategy using Salesforce to deliver a single view of the customer across multiple brands at NZME, at GrabOne delivering a Digital Marketing Strategy for improved revenue growth, implementation of a world class operations and emergency centre, as CIO of Auckland Airport or as Chief Executive of Tomizone growing a startup wireless technology business across Australia, China, India and NZ.
While living in Australia he also led the restructure and outsourcing of the NCR Australia and NZ logistics/supply chain operations gaining a strong reputation as a specialist in turning around under performing businesses.

Tony has experience as a Board member of The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), an Advisory Board member of Localist Ltd (NZ Post subsidiary), member of the SITA International Customer Advisory Board, Lead Judge (Service Delivery) for The Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Westpac Central Business Awards and a founding member of the Australian/New Zealand Airports ICT Forum

Tony holds an MBA, and Post Graduate Diplomas in Business Marketing and Operations from The University of Auckland

What do you feel are the biggest challenges IT leaders are currently faced with within their business?

The usual suspects remain, data protection, cyber security and the skills gap as technology continue to change at warp speed. The other call out challenge is a lack of agility. Companies trying to go agile, not fully committing and being stuck somewhere in between.

As an IT leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their IT strategy?

Businesses still struggle with alignment of what business requires and what IT is offering. IT must not only take the time to formulate a dynamic and effective set of engagement mechanisms in order to meet customer needs but also ensure capability resides within IT teams. Knowing your customers’ requirements is a full-time job not a one-off gig.

What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

Be present. Weather in a group meeting, or one on one and with whomever (junior or senior person) , maintain empathy and be present in the moment.

What is one key takeaway you hope our IT audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

To never become complacent that you know what your customer wants or is thinking without asking them.