Name: John Ruthven\nTitle: Chief operating officer, SAP, Australia and New Zealand\nTwitter handle: @john_ruthven\nHow long have you been in your current role? \nI joined SAP Australia and New Zealand as chief operating officer this month. I\u2019m responsible for looking after our operations team, as well as our industry value engineering and presales teams. I joined SAP in January of 2013 as senior vice president for cloud at our regional organisation.\nWhat business technology issue is your organisation focusing on? \nEssentially, we have transformed our business to help our customers transform theirs. Complexity is a real inhibitor of innovation, and we\u2019ve found that organisations are really only investing 20 per cent in areas of innovation, with the remaining 80 per cent channelled into managing issues of complexity.\nWe want to help organisations run simple by delivering solutions that let them focus on business innovation; not their IT systems. We do this by delivering agile and cost-effective cloud solutions that run on our in-memory database platform, SAP HANA. Through offering a cloud model coupled with the speed of a real-time platform such as SAP HANA we\u2019re supporting organisations in Australia and New Zealand to run their business better.\n We\u2019ve found that organisations are really only investing 20 per cent in areas of innovation, with the remaining 80 per cent channelled into managing issues of complexity. John Ruthven, SAP\nWhat are your interests away from work? \nDefinitely my family \u2013 my wife and my two teenage sons; I like trying to keep fit \u2013 riding my road-bike when I can; we also have a small farm in the southern highlands \u2013 so enjoy weekends away, I thoroughly enjoy that little bit of rural life.\nWhat are you reading at the moment? \nOn my bedside table I have two books; John Grisham\u2019s Sycamore Row, and Malcolm Gladwell\u2019s What the Dog Saw.\nWhat's the best piece of advice you've ever received? \nThere are two great pieces of borrowed advice that come to mind \u2013 Firstly, something I remember from an executive I worked with a few years ago who liked to quote the author, Stephen Covey \u2013 \u2018the main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing\u2019. Secondly, a colleague I worked with for a number of years liked to quote his mother \u2013 \u2018you earn your character every day\u2019 both excellent pieces of advice.\nProfessionally, who do you admire most? \nA lot of people have influenced me directly and indirectly throughout my career. However, I have tended to take a somewhat eclectic view of these influencers \u2013 and have a huge amount of admiration for disruptive thinkers, start-ups, people who see the same things as we do \u2013 yet imagine a very different outcome.\nHow long have you been working in IT? \nI\u2019ve been actively involved in the IT industry for the past 20 years, in local, regional and global roles - but always in software. I think I have been fortunate in that regard \u2013 it has been an amazing journey. Before SAP, I worked as senior vice president of International Sales at Zuora Inc. and General Manager of Emerging Markets at CA Technologies.\nIf you weren't working in IT, What would you be doing? \nWho knows \u2013 maybe building or property development; or, maybe farming \u2013 but, that is a tough way to earn a living.\nWhat was your first job? \nMy parents were in retail, so I used to help out in their stores after school. Also, during school holidays I used to work for a local builder as a builder\u2019s labourer, which is probably where I developed my appreciation for construction.\nWhat's the best thing about working with IT executives? \nSome of the most creative and demanding personality types that you will experience in your working life; as customers, competitors and colleagues.\nWhat is the worst? \nWhat\u2019s often the best thing can also be the worst!\nHow do you keep abreast of business technology trends? \nWhat I really enjoy about the whole print to digital revolution is how easily we can now consume new information with social media totally changing the way I keep up. Having a lot of information in consumable bite size pieces, where you can decide to go deep, or just skim the surface gives you so much control over what you see and experience. Having it available on your iPhone, or iPad means you can consume in idle moments, while waiting for a meeting, in a cafe line, etc. Additionally, the information pool is so much richer, with a much more diverse combination of sources. Personally, I subscribe to a daily newspaper, frequently use LinkedIn, TechCrunch, and a few other apps.\nA key advice for organisations moving to the cloud? \nLook for reasons to go cloud, versus reasons not to go cloud; look at cloud as an innovation platform. I am not advocating that businesses should go cloud for cloud\u2019s sake, but that the frame of reference should be to recognise that cloud is an amazing advance in our industry, like many major innovations before it. That is not the debate, it should be how we draw maximum benefit from adopting this innovation and new forms to come.\nSend news tips and comments to email@example.com\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.\nJoin us on Facebook.