On the lighter side of things, we ask the industry experts what makes them tick. Intelligent CIO speaks Claude Schuck, Regional Manager for Middle East at Veeam.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
I am a person focused more about giving then receiving. So my most memorable achievement … I have many moments I look back on. Mainly being able to grow and support the people around me. Sharing experience and guidance and watching them thrive! This certainly is my most memorable achievement.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
It happened by accident, I was on track to be a chartered accountant (my dad was one so I guess I was to follow). I started working part-time as a computer technician. After hours of late nights I soon fell in love with technology, specifically the pace of change and innovation. I soon changed my career and have never looked back.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I adopt the style and philosophy of ‘servant leadership’, literally meaning to ‘serve’. I was taught this by my early mentor in my career when I established a passion for leadership. There is nothing more powerful or relevant in business than people. If I am able to serve and grow my people, they in turn will thrive and when they do, so does the business.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
I am intrigued by simple things that relate to day-to-day life. One of those at the moment is will my eight-year-old son ever have to pass a driver’s license test in 10-years-time with the advent of technology and self-driving vehicles. I remember the stress and worry of having to pass the exam.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
I am a firm believer in ‘healthy body, healthy mind’. Getting to the gym every day is very important for my well-being. It’s the one chance you get to switch off and focus on you.
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be?
Tough question for me but perhaps my first passion of being a chef would be interesting for me to explore. I am a keen cook who loves to take time and experiment and take time cooking, not only is it relaxing but certainly rewarding too. I still dream of owning my own bistro or quaint little restaurant. .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
One certainly cannot begin to look at this industry without considering the move and shift to hosted and cloud services. Particularly with the advent of the big public hosting providers setting up ‘bricks and mortar’ in the region. As a business you cannot afford to ignore the platform that this offers your business in terms of digitising and streamlining operations and customer offerings.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in the Middle East?
I don’t think it’s unique to the region but I believe the biggest challenge with implementing any technology lies around security. Every business, every entity is plagued by the threat of their business being secure. The steps and checks you need to enable in order to remain vigilant with your IP, your data, your business. The risk of overlooking this threat means, no more business!
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?
Any job role with Information Technology in the title, over the past few years has been met with more seriousness, more credibility, as organisations start to realise the importance of the role. Not only as an enabler for business but as a mission critical pillar to the future proofing of any successful business moving forward.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain c-level position in your industry?
Never stop learning, which means never stop listening. I aspire to learn something new every day, not only for my personal growth but rather to have the ability to impart onto others, so they grow and prosper.