Tim from Ocado started by saying that he had set up Ocado to bring back the old fashioned owner of the greengrocer, the man that knew you personally, knew what food and drink you liked and which ripeness of fruit and vegetables you required. Ocado have been able to use ‘big data’ to allow them to offer the customer the right chicken when they choose Green & Blacks chocolate. Tim advised us it’s important for a company to deliver what they promise; they offer the complete shopping service which can be ordered as little as a few hours before delivery. Ocado employ just over 600 ‘techie staff’ and just fewer than 450 of these are based in the UK.
What are your thoughts on technology within a business?
PJ: Technology is an accelerator in business. The cloud allows small businesses to try new technologies much cheaper than was ever possible than before
CP: amazon works as a marketplace platform to bring people together and technology allows people to distribute (eg: writers to publishers) much easier than previously.
KP: we help people understand technology, from school curriculum to businesses, we feel technology can really help start ups and entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
CP: It’s important to remember you need to get involved with technology but you don’t need to do it all yourself
What are your thoughts on technology being a ‘male only’ sector?
TS: We are involved in schools creating coding classes / courses but still more men are involved then women
KP: 50/50 on male and female. I feel if women were more confident they could succeed. Men are 30% more confident although when parts of role are broken down it shows that women can / should be better.
As I was watching the presentation and listening to the speaker I looked around the room, I was aware that I was definitely in the minority. There were well over 70% of the people in the room that were male and actually around 20% were my age and the rest were a lot older.
However, (and it’s important to add), this event was only open to businesses binging in £5million – £25 million a year through their business. Will I go back to the event in 10 years and see a completely different divide? I genuinely feel I will, what do you think?
This is another article I have created from a presentation at The Telegraph Festival of Business, an event in London that I attended a few weeks back. The presentation was called ‘Why is technology at the heart of every great business?’ – it was presented by Tim Steiner (TS) from Ocado and was followed by a Question and Answer session with Tim, Katy Parsons (KP) from Decoded, Chris Pode (CP) from Amazon and Phil Jones (PJ) from Brother.