Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 26 | Page 80

There ’ s a growing focus on automating as many of those mundane routine tasks as possible , so employees can be freed up to focus on the complex and challenging activities that enable them to feel more fulfilled at work .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ? move into the cloud , we ’ ll see cybersecurity investment increasing in this space .
The Australian government has just created a dedicated cybersecurity portfolio . That ’ s an indication , if ever there was one , that the challenge of protecting data and systems in a hyper-connected world is here to stay .
Living in Manly , Sydney , we ’ re not too far from the beach or the bush which is fortunate because I really enjoy the outdoors . I ’ m learning to surf – it ’ s proving way more difficult than I anticipated ! – and most weekends I ’ m out on the mountain bike .
A group of friends and I get together of an afternoon to do a lap of Manly Dam , followed by an ice-cold beer – it ’ s the perfect antidote to stress . Family also keeps me busy : I have a 17-year-old daughter who ’ s hard at it completing her HSC and a 27-year-old son living just down the road .
If you could go back and change one career decision , what would it be ?
That ’ s hard to answer because I ’ m a big believer in not having regrets . In common with every other human being , I ’ ve made my share of career mistakes but I ’ ve tried to view them as opportunities to improve .
You can ’ t change the past but you can certainly use the lessons it ’ s taught you to create a better future . For me , the most important of those lessons has been that family will always be more important than work .
What are the region specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC ?
Skills shortage is a big one at the moment . Coming out of the pandemic , we ’ re still waiting for the flow of skilled resources to start to move around the globe and it can be really difficult to find people who are proficient around new technologies . Pre- Covid , ICT was one of the most mobile of industries and getting back to that status quo will make it easier for companies like ours to connect with and service customers .
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months ?
In start-up land , you ’ re very hands on ; involved in everything from code level questions to business strategy and chasing customers up to pay their bills . That ’ s where I was in the early years of Servicely but , over the past 12 months , I began moving away from the hands-on operational stuff .
I missed my daughter ’ s first day of school because I had a business meeting relating to a deal we were chasing at the time . When you ’ re an entrepreneur running a start-up business , there will always be a lot of demands on your time but you can never get that day back again .
So now , if my daughter tells me there ’ s an awards dinner or some such coming up , I arrange my commitments around being there for her .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
Artificial Intelligence is one . We ’ ve been through the hype cycle and now we ’ re seeing organizations taking a hard look at how they can apply AI to real business problems and harness it to deliver real business value .
The other is cloud computing . It ’ s not new but the pace of adoption is accelerating and , as more organizations
Looking ahead , I ’ ll continue to build a strong management team so I can lift myself into a more traditional CEO position . In a year ’ s time , I want to be concentrating on strategy and partners , not spending so much time down in the weeds .
What advice would you offer to someone aspiring to obtain a C – level position in your industry ?
Two ears , one mouth is a piece of advice that will serve you well at all stages of your career and especially so if you have C-suite aspirations . Just because you ’ re moving up the ranks or in a senior position , it doesn ’ t mean you know everything .
View every day as a learning opportunity and value the chances you have to connect with people at all levels , and to encourage and learn from them . Remember that good people stay at good companies and leave bad companies , so strive to make your team and your company a great one to work for . p
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