What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
There have been so many memorable moments, but I would say that one of my highlights were the four years I spent as Managing Director of of Internet Solutions Nigeria.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
I was in my mid-twenties and the Internet had just come on to the scene. There was so much hype around the Internet and computers, that it felt like an industry with good growth opportunities. I made the move and I’ve never looked back.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
Trust, accountability and ownership.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
There are plenty to talk about, but if I were to choose any, I would say cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence. The developments in Artificial Intelligence have been incredible and it’s revolutionising the way businesses and individuals operate. Cybersecurity, on the other hand, has become a necessity and one that organisations can no longer ignore. Prominent organisations are experiencing breaches every other week. The cyberthreat landscape continues to evolve, with cybercriminals constantly introducing new and improved attack methods. Every organisation, no matter their size or industry, is a target. This topic isn’t going away, so everyone needs to rethink how they’re approaching cybersecurity and make sure they have the right measures in place.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
I spend time relaxing at home. I also love mountain biking and reading books.
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be?
I would make sure I fully understood the importance of working hard at school and then going on to university to get a degree. I delayed this, and I suspect it cost me seven years.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
People. We have a major skills shortage and the supply of cybersecurity professionals is not keeping up with the demand required to handle the advanced levels of cybercrime.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Africa?
Believe it or not I still think we have challenges when it comes to simple things like implementing power and infrastructure such as road and bridges. Secondly, there’s still a misconception that cybercrime is not something that African organisations need to worry about. Cybercrime is as relevant on our continent as it is in the rest of the world and the challenge lies in educating organisations about why cybersecurity needs to be a priority.
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?
I’ve been very focused on working hard to coach people as opposed to only leading and managing. This applies to internal teams and relationships but is also being applied externally to a certain extent.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry?
Be authentic, interdependent and build relationships at all levels.