CTO, Enterprise Sector
I’m responsible for the creation, communication and implementation of the technical vision and strategy for the company in the Healthcare and Life Sciences space. I spend a large part of my time working with Fortune 500 clients on large-scale software implementations that require deep experience in Big Data (Hadoop), NoSQL databases like MarkLogic, Cloud Computing and Analytics. In a nutshell my work involves solving some really tough problems.
BACKGROUND, EXPERIENCE, and HOW I GOT HIRED:
My background is in Enterprise Architecture and Information Management. I was VP of Enterprise Architecture at United Health Group and Chief Architect at Wolters-Kluwer in their clinical research group. I was hired at MarkLogic because of my ability to translate complex business problems into technical solutions, from concept to design to implementation. Having a thorough understanding of all the facets involved in product development allows me to better communicate my company’s value to both business and IT buyers. I interviewed with several different teams at MarkLogic to get the job and it took three months to get hired!
DAY IN THE LIFE:
I would describe a “day in the life” as busy and harder beyond anything imaginable. It’s an enjoyable and very rewarding experience but it’s not for the faint of heart. I typically start very early, on a plane, heading to a new city to meet customers and prospects and discuss their goals, their current challenges and their vision for the future. It’s always exciting because in every single encounter I get to share perspectives and ideas that will shape those company’s direction for years to come. Other times I’m involved in deep technical discussions with Architects and senior IT people – those are always fun!
The part I enjoy the most is speaking at conferences and panels. The thrill of keeping a large audience engaged for a full hour on topics that can sometimes put people to sleep is something I always strive to accomplish! The most rewarding part is to see my ideas become reality as people implement the concepts I presented.
The advice I give people interested in doing what I do is to first develop very sharp analytical and problem solving skills. Technology comes and goes but it’s the individual’s ability to analyze a situation and come up with a solution when everyone else gives up that makes him/her a great candidate for this type of work. Also spend time working on your communication skills – even the most brilliant of ideas don’t make it out of the cutting room if you don’t know how to express them clearly. And most importantly you must be both a leader and a team player. That means treat everyone with respect and never live by the CYA code. I know it’s cliché but it truly is the people who are bold and take risks the ones that I find are the best candidates for a CTO position.
Looking at the crystal ball I see great challenges in the Healthcare industry in the coming years. CEOs and business leaders will look towards technology even more to yield better outcomes, lowers costs and increase efficiencies in the way care is given. This means a lot of demand for IT skills, particularly in the area of Big Data Analytics. I think the time is now to get acquainted with the latest tools and technologies, including MarkLogic as the only enterprise NoSQL database, which are better equipped to solve the business problems of Healthcare. The volume, complexity and velocity needed to deliver solutions will increase but so will the opportunity to build unique solutions that will have an impact in our industry. As they say, “in chaos there’s always opportunity!”