"They often don't get a seat on the senior management team. And then you're in isolation, you don't really understand necessarily what the commercial realities are of your business and where the focus should be.
"The fact that I get to see the management accounts for the month means I understand which businesses make a load of money and which don't make so much money, and then can kind of direct my team accordingly so we don't end up spending way too much time on a bit of the business that's not actually very profitable."
Sitting on the organisation's senior leadership team is also a boost to the technology leader's executive colleagues, with Jones adding CIOs on executive committees are in a privileged position to espouse the opportunities provided by the digital world to their peers.
Scale and revenue streams
Jones noted that the scale and variety of revenue streams from AEG's different businesses was a huge benefit to the organisation, offering the ability to pilot projects before much broader implementations, while diverse income streams help negate some of the risks of disruption.
"A lot of businesses in our space don't have the range of venues and range of previous experience, and they don't have the depth of knowledge to tap into," Jones said. "We get the benefit of scale.
"We can pioneer something at The O2 and have the opportunity to take that and try it out in other venues, and hopefully it works really well there as well."
"Our business has quite a lot of revenue streams; all our income doesn't come from one place. And it's more than venues, they have revenues associated with sponsorship, ticket sales, food and beverage, car parking, merchandise. Here at The O2 also the bars and restaurants and other businesses around the arena."
Another business brand in the portfolio is AEG Presents, previously AEG Live, the live events promoters behind festivals like British Summer Time in Hyde Park and promoters of shows by some of the world's biggest artists including Leonard Cohen, Carole King, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Taylor Swift and Rod Stewart.
AEG Presents of course provides a very different set of challenges to running a commuter boat service along the River Thames, which Jones describes as "a really interesting, exciting business" with its own operational hurdles. The Thames Clippers service is receiving "a lot of digital innovation and investment" Jones explained, and that a focus on digital streams were a constant across AEG's portfolio.
"Digital is quite a key part of what we're doing, bringing in revenue and so on, across the variety of revenue streams," he said.
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