Get to know our Manager of Sales Engineering and Education, Jon Payne, in this instalment of our Q&A blog series. With over 40 years’ experience of designing, building, and implementing enterprise systems, Jon shares his motivation to make a difference by solving business challenges and his secret passion to redesign a city.
What’s your job role at InterSystems and what does it involve?
I joined InterSystems in 2002, I’m now the Manager of Sales Engineering and Education, which involves both pre- and post-sales activity for InterSystems data platforms products and HealthShare.
Can you give a brief background of your career prior to InterSystems?
I’ve spent over 40 years designing, building, and implementing enterprise systems with 20 of those years focused on trading and risk management systems in the capital markets. I also spent time working as an analyst programmer for the NHS many years ago.
What attracted you to the role/business?
The opportunity to work with core technology at a company that takes a customer-centric, long-term view was one I couldn’t miss out on.
What do you like most about your job and what’s a recent project you’re proud to have been involved in?
I’ve always been interested in working out how to address business challenges with the innovative use of technology and my role enables me to do this on a daily basis. One of the projects I’ve been most proud of recently was working as part of a large team to set up key systems for the Nightingale Hospital in a very short timeframe during the pandemic.
What is your main motivation in your work life?
For me, the main motivation is knowing that there is always going to be another technical challenge round the corner that you make a real difference to by helping to solve that issue. This difference was clear in the Nightingale Hospital project.
Why is data important?
We live in an information society, in a world that is changing fast. Consequently, good data is key to survival and growth for businesses across all sectors.
What’s your view on utilising data for business benefits?
It’s essential, yet many organisations still struggle with it. To gain real benefits from data, moving data-driven decisions into the here and now has to be the goal for every organisation.
What’s your biggest frustration in the world of data?
It frustrates me that people still separate operations and analysis. Analytics may be seen as tactical or strategic in a company, but the majority of organisations rarely bring the two areas together. I’m pleased to say that this is changing, but slowly.
How do you see data and its uses evolving in the future? / How can data help organisations finding the ‘new normal’ following the pandemic?
The pace of change is accelerating. The impact of COVID-19 is transformational, both in terms of how we do business and how we consume goods and services. The ability to use data to drive the continuous optimisation of processes is separating companies that are growing from companies that are facing increasing challenges. This is apparent across numerous sectors.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve seen in the utilisation of AI whilst working at InterSystems?
Two areas really stand out for me. The first is clinical decision support, including population health, where predictive models coupled with low-cost, appropriate action can make a real difference to many lives. The second is still more of a work in progress, but I would highlight managing resource usage and allocation across a local economy as an area in which we’re seeing some benefits of AI. The advent of widely distributed, powerful edge computing paired with sophisticated predictive models will give us the ability to manage the infrastructure and resources in our cities so much better than we do today. Combined with what I believe is a long-term, permanent shift in working practices, the result is going to have a transformational impact on our cities and our lives.
If you could choose any job in the world, what would you choose?
Following on from what I’ve just said, I’d really like to redesign a city – and let someone else worry about the implementation…
Tell us something about yourself that your work colleagues wouldn’t know.
I really enjoy baking bread – but don’t tell everyone or they’ll expect me to bring a few loaves into the office!