Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 21 - Page 92

GET TO KNOW and service models as cloud adoption increases. What are the region- specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Africa? things you could have done to make your journey easier and for me, it would probably be being more patient. What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry? I think that customers are spending huge amounts of money on infrastructure only to realise that perhaps there were other options that should have been explored to give them the flexibility and scalability they need. As a result, businesses are moving towards software 92 INTELLIGENTCIO Like many regions, there remains a huge lack of skills in Africa and much work is needed in this area as this shortage hampers business competitiveness and puts businesses under additional pressure to attract talent from what is already considered a small pool. Therefore, it is essential that organisations look towards skills development – focusing at grass root level. Creating opportunities where they invest in training qualified candidates to meet the demands organisations are faced with currently. Such programmes need to be a platform to upskill the future generation with ‘real- world knowledge’ and an opportunity to increase their worth and productivity in the eyes of an employer. In fact, these programmes need to go beyond just providing graduates with the necessary skills, but it should pair companies with the right talent for their needs – be it cloud technologies, web technologies, open source, networking technologies or security to harnesses much-needed skill in the interest of the industry of a whole – and this is exactly what the SUSE graduate programme does. What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry? Starting from the bottom is always valuable, you get to learn the skills and the knowledge from the ground up. This will also help you build a solid foundation of unmatched skills. Additionally, be sure to invest time in a mentor that can offer you guidance along the way and of course, remember it takes hard work, so roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. n