Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 18 - Page 80

What do you think is the current hot technology talking point ?
It ’ s become very cliched but , at the moment , it ’ s definitely cybersecurity . In recent years , the buzz has been around Digital Transformation . That ’ s happened and now you have all these companies that are completely dependent on their online presence , so the question has become ‘ how do you protect that ?’ Developing security products which safeguard the business , while not interfering with the performance and deliverability of applications , is the big challenge for security vendors .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
Being relatively new to Australia , I enjoy exploring . The pandemic has offered my partner and I the opportunity to do more of it because I ’ m not jumping on planes all the time . Hiking all over NSW and taking road trips to see some of the really interesting , beautiful parts of this country is one of my favorite things to do . I love just looking at a map and being caught up in the wonder of what a place could be . Broken Hill is the furthest we ’ ve been so far . The Outback is absolutely enchanting and beautiful and interesting . It ’ s also funny having to plan your fuel stops , so you don ’ t miss a crucial one and end up stranded !
If you could go back and change one career decision , what would it be ?
I would have left San Francisco sooner . I spent six years there , with an infrastructure-as-a- service company and then with Fastly . It ’ s very much the case that technology is celebrated for technology ’ s sake there . Moving to New York , as Fastly ’ s first East Coast employee , helped me re-focus on the value technology provides to the world , not just on the cool things it can do .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
How do we make security smarter ? How do we automate it ? How do we create solutions that continue to evolve , not just for the sake of it but so they ’ re easier to use and perform well in a continually changing threat landscape ? Companies in our industry are investing massively to find answers to these questions .
What are the region specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC ?
One of the biggest ones I ’ ve noted is that , unlike in the US , markets in this region tend to be dominated by one or two vendors . Their technologies become entrenched and so evaluating the options regularly and actively choosing the optimum solution can cease to be standard practice for customers . It means new vendors need to work hard to communicate the value they ’ d provide , to mitigate the perceived risk of ‘ changing horses ’.
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 ?
When I arrived Down Under in 2018 , I was employee number one in the region and it was all about getting our name out and building a brand . Our team has grown since then – we ’ re now 15 people across Australia and New Zealand – and , in the past 12 months , many of my early responsibilities have been taken over by experts . Courtesy of my longevity with Fastly , I ’ ve become the foundation that holds us together as we grow , and that will hopefully continue in 2022 . I ’ m committed to creating a strong corporate culture , so the team and our customers think of us as Fastly Australia , rather than an outpost of the head office .
What advice would you offer to someone aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry ?
During my time in San Francisco , the most successful leaders I saw in our space were the ones who really understood the minutiae of the solutions they were developing but who could also ‘ zoom out ’ and understand the business problems that technology was trying to solve . Most people lean one way or the other – technical or commercial – and being able to counterbalance your natural tendency and provide both perspectives will help you go far . And remember that relationships matter . In the ICT field , we ’ re always trying to find ways to supersede everything humans do with some sort of technology but I think it ’ s become even more evident in the pandemic that human connections and trust are critical when you ’ re doing business . p
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