Get to Know: Iain Saunderson, CTO, Spinnaker Support

Get to Know: Iain Saunderson, CTO, Spinnaker Support

Iain Saunderson, CTO, Spinnaker Support, says his career so far has involved ‘so much more than technology’.

Iain Saunderson, CTO, Spinnaker Support

Here, he outlines just what that means:

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

I would say my most memorable achievement to date is playing an integral role in building Spinnaker Support’s third-party software support offering into a competitive and mainstream alternative to vendor support. We are now able to offer enterprises across the globe an alternative to vendor support – an alternative that enables business leaders to make software decisions based on their business initiatives, and not their enterprise software provider’s roadmap.

We support Oracle, JD Edwards, SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft and Open Source – freeing up valuable capital and resources so that our clients can maximize the security and performance of their enterprise software ecosystem with certainty.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

I have always been interested in technology and pushing its limits. That paradigm plays well in the third-party software support space. However, my career involves so much more than technology. At Spinnaker Support, a lot of what we do is focused on harnessing the collective creativity and passion of lots of really smart people. That is what helps to develop the skills of the team around you.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

From my experience, I believe a collaborative approach works best. I’m usually working across teams that often don’t report directly to me, so selling ideas and reaching consensus amongst teams is a large part of what I do. It’s about listening to the ideas and feedback of others, and encouraging a culture where people feel empowered to step up and offer more.

What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?

Technology is a very broad domain, but personally I feel that the developments in alternative energy sources will change our world for the better and enable the planet to exist more sustainably.

Most definitely in IT, everything related to AI will continue to change the way industries will operate long term. I imagine AI will be an order of magnitude greater than the impact the Internet and our ability to search and consume content had.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?

For me, lots of time outdoors – running, climbing, skiing, hiking, camping – is what really helps me to unwind away from work. I live in Denver, Colorado, so there are so many opportunities to get outdoors to explore.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

It must be AI, which will be the same for many industries. It remains to be seen how AI can be leveraged in the world of third-party software support, but it’s something we are actively analyzing.

What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC?

APAC is such a broad and culturally diverse region, so the implementation of strategies differs greatly from region to region. What works in Australia will completely differ from Japan, for example. It is about understanding what makes each region tick, and the unique challenges enterprises in each region face.

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?

As third-party software support evolves, we are constantly speaking with customers to understand the pressures they are facing. Over the course of the last year there have been several global economic challenges, so that has been something we have had to consider. Over the next 12 months it will be very interesting to see how AI changes the way organizations operate too.

What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry?

Understand the basics, learn well, and don’t rush your climb up the corporate ladder. Self-development is key and taking on feedback from the people around you really matter.

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