Let’s talk tech – Quickfire Q&A

It’s no secret the global tech sector is advancing at an astonishingly rapid pace – not least in relation to the now integral role of digital transformation in spearheading growth and success. But no matter the size or scope or your organisation – or how sophisticated your innovation strategy is – the only way to drive significant change is to leverage the power of people.

So, to champion some of the industry’ finest talent, and gain some insight into the minds of individuals from across the tech space, we’re inviting friends and partners of the business to take part in our quickfire Q&A.

Up next, it’s Jon Pickering, chief executive officer at Mizaic

Tell us about your role at Mizaic and the part you play in the tech sector:

MediViewer, our electronic document management solution (EDMS), digitally enables all unstructured patient data in hospitals — think paper and PDF-type documents — to be used for clinical insight, driving better patient care.  We are playing a significant role in enabling a future paperless NHS, taking hospitals away from paper patient medical records, into a new digital era.  

What innovation was the turning point for your organisation, to get it to where you are now?

It’s difficult to think of one particular turning point, but I am going to say it: AI. This could be big for us, like many others. We are actively looking at AI now, specifically how we can automate key patient insights from data to transform the clinician and patient interaction — giving the clinicians more information about the person who sits in front of them during appointments.

And where’s next for your business?

We have a clear and exciting plan for our EDMS. We know how much value we add to clinicians and the sum of money we save for hospitals, so we’re keen to keep sharing our message across the UK and overseas; we’re currently gathering information, looking at the Middle East and US for potential international expansion. I’m also a big advocate for partnerships and working with other healthcare tech companies to enhance the value we collectively bring to our customers, so that’s another area we’re focusing on.

The biggest misconception faced by the tech sector is…

That you need to move rapidly on AI, otherwise your business will die. I think an iterative approach to how you apply the technology is the best approach, ensuring genuine customer value linked to use cases. That’s why we’re following the same route at Mizaic. It will advance quickly, and mature in terms of performance and outcomes as a result. So, for me, don’t rush it.

What do you think will be the biggest tech trend over the next 12 months?

I’m going to say two: data and automation. The value we can extract from data is a key trend right now, and clearly that will continue. An automate-first approach will also be intrinsic within most tech business strategies. Clearly AI will play a key role across both of these, as well as other technologies like robotic process automation (RPA). 

What top tip would you give to an individual trying to excel in their tech career?

Adopt a continuous learning attitude — whether that’s reading books or listening to podcasts, keep thinking about what comes next and how that impacts you and your career.

You can’t know everything, so maintaining focus on one specialism, rather than becoming a generalist, is something I believe creates more value for you and your employer.

The next purchase on my personal tech wish list is…?

I would love to own a Ferrari 812 one day, but that’s a long way off for multiple reasons — including that my wife might have other ideas!

On the realistic front, a new set of golf clubs is never too far away…

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

When I got my first computer for Christmas. For those old enough to remember, it was a Commodore 64. Before that, it was playing a game called Asteroids on an Atari gaming console (probably 40 years ago!).

What is one longstanding piece if tech you are shocked is still used today?

With the growth of cloud and digital repositories, I’d say USBs and storage drives — at least at their current scale.

If you are without the internet for an hour, what would be the first activity you resort to, to pass the time?

Walk my dog in the local fields, or read.

That’s all for this month’s Q&A! Want more insight like this? Catch up on our previous interview with Mike Dimelow, chief commercial officer at Bloc Ventures.