by Divina Paredes

Doing business with Scott Bartlett of Kordia: ‘Are we doing enough to protect ourselves?’

Feb 01, 2016
Big DataBusiness ContinuityCareers

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Name: Scott Bartlett

Title: Chief Executive Officer, Kordia NZ

Twitter handle: @Kordia_NZ

How long have you been in your current role? Since October 2012.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

NZ is building this wonderful ultra-fast broadband network giving most Kiwi businesses access to high-speed fibre optics, and NZ is going to be one the best connected nations on earth. While that is great news, we need to make sure that the internet is a really safe place to do business. Kordia is determined to show leadership in the area of cybersecurity. Cyberattacks are on the rise and hackers are becoming more tenacious. We’re keen to work with the Government on its cybersecurity strategy and with our recent acquisition of Aura Information Security we are investing significantly in this area. In my opinion cyber-security should be on the minds of all CEOs and Directors in 2016. The question every business should be asking is “are we doing enough to protect ourselves?”

‘Industries that weren’t traditionally viewed as IT are now firmly placed in the information technology arena… That’s what makes it so exciting.’Scott Bartlett, Kordia

What are your interests away from work?

We recently purchased a boat and I’m enjoying learning about boating and fishing and the marine environment.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve received so much good advice from so many people I respect – and all of it has been valuable. It may not be the best piece of advice but one that certainly comes to mind is a former boss of mine telling me it is ok to say “I don’t know but I’ll find out”. I think that sometimes in business, especially in the information age there is an expectation that you should know everything, but I find life actually gets a bit easier when you get a deep understanding of just how much there is to learn and not be afraid to say so.

Professionally, who do you admire most?

I look up to the mentors I’ve had over the years, especially my go-to people, Janine Smith, chair of AsureQuality, Geoff Hunt (Chief Executive Hawkins Group); and David Clarke (chairman of WaterCare). These generous people have taught me so much about leadership, governance and business.

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into IT?

I have been working in the IT and telecommunications industry since 2002. I got my first job working in a contact centre at a web hosting business. I’d always been interested in technology, probably starting with my dad bringing home an Atari 800XL when I was a kid. My brother and I would code our own computer games, and it started a real fascination with computers and technology.

If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing?

I think the definition of the IT industry is widening and industries that weren’t traditionally viewed as IT are now firmly placed in the information technology arena. So for an internet and digital guy like me that’s really exciting. We’ve seen the complete overhaul of industries because of digital technologies. If you work at Uber, are you working in the IT industry or the transport industry? The lines are blurring and I think that’s what makes it so exciting.

What are some of the emerging roles that you are seeing in ICT, and what are the business drivers behind these appointments?

There is a fundamental shift in the way we are working and people’s roles. There’s even shifts in roles that may keep the same title. Being a project manager today is very different to what it was five years ago with the prevalence of Agile and Kanban and other methodologies for delivering business value. We’re seeing a real importance placed on the Chief Information Security Officer to help keep businesses safe online and I’m also seeing greater emphasis on analytics roles. Information and data increasingly creates opportunities and competitive advantages for businesses, hence the emphasis on data analysts and analytics software.

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