On the lighter side of things we ask Dean Yates, Regional Vice President UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, Rubrik, what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
After 25 years in the industry, there have been so many highlights/achievements but by far the standout for me is my appointment by Rubrik as Vice President and General Manager UKI/MEA. I’ve been involved from an early stage in building a start up from grass roots in EMEA with a technology that has automated data protection and has changed the game around cyber-resilience and ransomware remediation – meaning our customers are no longer held to ransom by the bad guys!
What first made you think of a career in technology?
To be honest I didn’t really think of a career in technology – I wanted to be a stuntman! I ended up falling into the industry by taking a telesales role in the late ‘90s while saving some money to go travelling, at which point the comms market was booming and full of opportunity. I kind of just fell in love with the pace of innovation and how software disrupts industry.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I’ve tried to keep things simple in my style and focus on some key principles:
- Drive a customer-first ethos in everything we do, will it benefit and delight our customers? If not we shouldn’t do it.
- Be a career destination of choice, have a no ego hiring policy that has no hierarchy or politics to ensure we can evolve at the speed of the market.
- Manage with accountability – everyone is responsible for their own success which ultimately drives the direction of Rubrik both technically and commercially.
What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2020 and why?
COVID-19 has brought security and data protection to the forefront of organisations, having 100% of the workforce become remote overnight. Without the security of an office, corporate network and all the security protocols that go with that, hackers are the ultimate opportunists and in times of despair, unfortunately, ransomware has boomed as an industry.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Data protection can no longer survive as only an expensive insurance policy; it needs to derive value from data and provide additional business value with security and governance risk and compliance at its core. My prediction is that security will move more to the data layer than at the perimeter in the network and we’ll see more investment as a result.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
I have a young family (twin boys aged five and a daughter of nine) and I find spending time with them and my wife the best way to unwind. My daughter is learning to play golf and I’m keen to get the boys started too so we can have a four ball at the weekends!
We live in a beautiful city where there is an abundance of different walks and places to explore. With lots of different restaurants, bars and cafes, we always make sure we stop somewhere different as our ‘reward’.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
I’m not sure I’d change any – even the lowlights have been a learning experience to get me where I am today. I guess my only regret would be not moving into a start up earlier as I’ve learnt more about business in the last five years than I did in corporates in 20.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
It’s interesting to see the adoption of technology across regions is vastly different. Cloud adoption in some parts of Europe, Middle East and Africa is still in early stages and as companies adopt public cloud they need to consider data protection and security at all levels. There seems to be a perception that data in the public cloud is by default secure which simply isn’t the case and the customer is still liable for their data.
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?
Despite longing the customer and partner interaction that we enjoyed prior to COVID-19, I honestly believe there are some large productivity gains and work life balance we can benefit from as we return to some form of normality with a mix of face-to-face and remote working.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
Technology in its nature is disruptive and driven by innovation, therefore being adaptable and having grit and determination in my opinion are the main attributes to success. Don’t assume that what made you successful in prior roles will make you successful again and focus on continual improvement and self development.Click below to share this article