Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 23 - Page 80

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Covid pandemic , what it ’ s done and how we ’ ll get on with organizing ourselves and our businesses . It ’ s heartening that technology has been at the forefront at dealing with Covid . However , those transformations have ushered in a new model of work , hybrid . At Extreme Networks , we focus on enabling companies to deploy network infrastructure in a secure , scalable way to meet this challenge .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
The wall in my home office is hung with a collection of guitars . When I get a couple of hours , nothing ’ s better than picking one of them up , sitting down and playing through something ; getting hold of a solo that was previously unplayable , for example , and eventually just nailing it . The satisfaction of that … For me it comes down to betterment , the feeling that you ’ ve achieved something previously unachievable . My musical tastes are very unpalatable for most people , including my family – I ’ m a shredder with a soft spot for 90 ’ s metal .
If you could go back and change one career decision , what would it be ?
That ’ s a history question and I resolved long ago never to answer any more of those except in pub quizzes ! I prefer to think about career decisions from the angle of what advice I ’ d give to my younger self . It would mostly be about seizing the opportunity in the moment . If I look back , I ’ d say be more adventurous , take the risks and push on . If you feel you have the skills and can add value , never be shy about speaking up and making yourself part of the conversation .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
Our industry is one that stands adjacent to many technologies , including cloud and security , and they ’ re going to dominate absolutely everything . When it comes to network infrastructure , which is what we do , we ’ ll see massive uptake of Wi-Fi transformation . There ’ ll be significant investment in 5G and we ’ ll see Wi-Fi and 5G coming together much more closely in most enterprise environments , with each technology requiring the support of the other .
What are the region specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC ?
I don ’ t like that as a concept … I don ’ t believe in region specific challenges ! If one of our reps said to me that there are region specific challenges why we can ’ t sell something , I ’ d lose my mind ! I believe we have a portfolio of solutions that we bring to market and it ’ s for us to understand their value and position them effectively to our customers , in whatever territory it is that we ’ re addressing . It ’ s not that I ’ m doing a Monty Python , always looking on the bright side of life , but rather that , with technology , the flexibility you have is such that you should have seen something region specific and be working other avenues to achieve success .
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 ?
Most people working in management have been in the same boat . The challenge we ’ ve faced has been trying to ensure our teams are happy and comfortable and fulfilling their roles , in a scenario which no one had ever anticipated . We all have stories of staff members who didn ’ t see a single colleague for months on end , and making sure outcomes are being delivered regardless has been tricky at times . In the next 12 months , we ’ ll need to learn to do things differently again as we settle into a heavily hybridized work environment . Adapting longer term strategies for this will be crucial .
What advice would you offer to someone aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry ?
Whatever the conversation , find a way of adding value that ’ s truly genuine and personal to you . That will come across so powerfully when you ’ re engaging with senior executives and customers who are looking to technology to deliver an outcome for them . It ’ s helped me immensely through my career and it ’ s advice I ’ d offer to anyone looking to do likewise . Find yourself a good mentor , someone you respect and admire who ’ s tackled many of the challenges that will likely come your way ; they can help you unlock the value in yourself . p
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