How to Implement the Right Tech for Your Business with Teresa Sperti | #372

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Teresa talks tech transformations, the privacy act and when to put the brakes on

Teresa Sperti is a highly seasoned and regarded digital and eCommerce leader with over 20 years’ experience working with and for leading brands including Coles, Officeworks and World Vision amongst others. Since establishing Arktic Fox four years ago, Teresa and her team have been partnering with leading brands and scale up retailers and CPG | FMCG brands to drive eCommerce adoption and capability build, to enable better utilisation of data to enhance experience and deliver better omnichannel experiences and supported brands to utilise and invest in tech to underpin their strategy.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by  Teresa Sperti, Founder and Director at Arktic Fox

Arktic Fox specialize in digital, eCommerce & capability development.  Teresa’s background leading digital transformations at retailers like Coles and Officeworks led her to start the business that works with clients such as Bunnings, Bega and Carpet Court.  In this chat, Teresa shares her simple but effective framework for business casing, how to get the best out of your technology partners – dos and don’ts style.  She also talks us through the government changes to the privacy act and the impacts on businesses – you don’t want to miss that.

“It is significant change that the government is embarking on and it is going to impact every organisation in Australia.”

Teresa Sperti

Top tips for getting the best deals out of technology partners

“So the first I would say is never fall for the kind of catch cry of ‘sign up by this date and you get this discount for this product’, because most tech vendors will do that. At the end of the day, you’ve got to run your race. You’ve got to make the decision about the platform that is right for your organisation. And that means you need to invest the time into diligence. So I would say, you know, that deal is always still on the table. Some may argue that’s not the case, but I’ve always seen that you can still get a great deal after that time frame. So work on your time frames, don’t work on theirs. 

Don’t let the vendor know that you have it in the bag. Keep them guessing. Once the vendor knows that they have it in the bag, they’re less likely, potentially, to negotiate. 

I think the third one is ask not only your vendor, if you have an implementation provider, ask what the kickback is that the implementation provider is getting from you investing in that technology because what we are seeing in market is that there are a lot of deals in place, direct or indirect deals, where implementation partners benefit if you choose a platform, which means that they may push you down a path that may not be right for your business, but it’s right for their business.”

The most overlooked cost of tech implementation

“Businesses and brands think that the tech will solve their problems when in fact, the degree to which the technology is adopted will be dependent on the people and the ability for those people to be able to leverage the technology effectively. You know, it’s not uncommon to see organizations buying a tech platform and, oh, we’ll buy some training and it’s one session and it’s, you know, it’s an extra $1,500 or whatever. 

The reality is, particularly if you have to shift capability of a number of people, that is a journey. It’s not something that’s going to be learnt through one training. And so I think organisations really need to think about the people related costs and the cost to evolve process. So that’s resource, focus, energy, etc. Because the reality is, is that new technology will often impact and influence a shift in the way that you work. And so we need to invest time, effort and energy in process evolution.”

Impact for business of changes to the Privacy Act

“The government has been spending years on undertaking a series of reviews and has released a series of discussion papers over time around changes within the privacy space and specifically changes to the Australian Privacy Act. So this isn’t new, this has been on the horizon for a long time and I think over the previous three years, increasingly over that time we’ve been able to gain far more clarity over where the government is potentially going with these changes. 

And it is significant change that the government is embarking on. And it is going to impact every organisation in Australia, particularly if they remove the current three million dollar and above clause, which means that any organisation under three million dollars today doesn’t have to comply with the Privacy Act. 

But as part of the recommendations, so for those listening in that don’t understand this space, there was in this year 116 recommendations made to make changes to the privacy act. So 116 recommended changes. The government has already accepted 38 of those. And there’s a further 68 of those that they have said that they have agreed to in principle, which means that change will happen on all of those fronts. It’s just what that change looks like still needs further consultation.   

So when we think about that today, that the Privacy Act applies to organisations operating where they generate $3 million and above, That is one of the 116 recommendations that have been put forward is to remove that threshold and basically make all organisations accountable within Australia for privacy compliance, whether you turn over $100,000 right through to billions of dollars (in revenue).”

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