Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 25 - Page 72

GET TO KNOW the national governments. Others are a matter of planning, training and knowledge exchange. I would say that when the topics of complex technological development are considered it is better to think of that as a long-term process and investment in the future. 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? to change the way we are living. Smart homes, integration of applications, cars that are communicating with us, content on demand, life streaming – all these features are available to us due to the ‘invisible’ for us technologies that supports them. and I am happy to be part of a company that makes this possible. How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office? The implementation of new technologies is normally related to challenges. When a technology is new, that is already a prerequisite for unexpected developments. Any new technology that is about to be deployed will require new skills, new approaches, understanding of its specifics, training, knowledge and transfer. To bring complex technological solutions to life is also related with compliances, integration of systems and other strictly technological processes that are taking place as well as with legislation frame alignment. When it comes to Africa, maybe there are three main challenges I should outline. Chilling with the family. We try and do one major vacation a year otherwise our activities are spontaneous. I am also still a novice golfer and I a musician that does the odd small gigs. If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be? I would have opted for more international stints much earlier in my career, purely for the experience and exposure. What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry? As mentioned, there are distinctive trends – IoT, 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. All those areas are part of a major shift in the way we work and live that is only possible because we have reached a certain scientific and technological level. Establishing the network infrastructure to be able to facilitate these developments is a key focus currently – especially in Africa 72 INTELLIGENTCIO What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Africa? • Regulatory frameworks are quite slow in certain African countries holding back investment in technology deployment • Huge disparity in the availability of skills across the different countries • Africa is often at the tail end of investment decisions and hence financing for capital intensive technology projects is often a huge challenge Some of the challenges are circumstantial and they provide ground for top-end collaborations on a national level with Our work environment is becoming more virtual, more global and more flexible. Unless you are in a work environment where it is the absolute nature of your role, the days of the 9 to 5 office bound workers are fast coming to an end. The workforce teams are also becoming increasing global in nature, with virtual team members spread across the world. What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry? Be patient – work hard, have hunger to learn, focus on consistent above average delivery, and at the right time, you would naturally get there. n “ TODAY, WE ARE DEALING WITH A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY IS A KEY ELEMENT OF IT.