People the “most important” part of a digital tech strategy, says Jetstar’s digital chief

People and modern technology connection.

It may sound weird, but Jetstar’s head of digital and delivery believes people are the most important element of a successful digital technology strategy.

Speaking at the Travel Tech. Summit 2019 in Sydney last week, Simon Pearce said Jetstar approaches its digital tech strategy like an old Einstein quote: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

The budget airline’s strategy is made up of five Ps: platforms (modular, decoupled components offering a specified service to internal or external customers), people, (capability, resourcing and training), process (ways of working designed to promote efficient and sustainable delivery of customer value), product (customer offering, value and experience – the why, what and when), and personalisation/data (building great customer engagement).

For Pearce, people is the “most important” part of any digital technology strategy, but he admitted that finding decent talent is not a walk in the park for Jetstar.

“Effectively being in Asian organisation, we have offices throughout Asia in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, and Melbourne where our head office is,” he explained.

“One thing I can assure you though is that at all of these locations, it is very difficult to get good talent. The competition for talent is just as heavy in Singapore and China and Ho Chi Minh as it is in Sydney and Melbourne.”

Jetstar’s Simon Pearce speaking at the Travel Tech. Summit 2019

Pearce said it is crucial for organisations developing a digital tech strategy to identify how they attract and retain the right talent.

“Having worked in the banking industry seven years prior, I didn’t realise until I joined the travel industry how nice it is to work in an industry where the topic you’re talking about on a day-to-day basis for work is interesting,” he said.

“It’s much more interesting sitting around talking about holidays than it is about credit cards – that’s one of the selling points that we as an industry need to use to attract and retain talent.”

It works well for us because you find that people who are interested in working in travel are typically a little bit adventurous, they’re often outgoing, and they’re often quite social. All those elements work really well in terms of creating a cohesive and efficient team.

“You need people who are willing to take risks, you need people who are willing to do things a little bit differently, and you need people who are willing to be a little bit outspoken.”

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