Bangkok Bank's Executive VP Ian Guy Gillard on his continual delivery of high-impact initiatives

FY Teng

We are stepping up efforts to develop our capabilities in the areas of business continuity planning and disaster recovery. I think that the floods of 2011 were sufficient to get the attention of all Thai companies that these areas need to be revisited.

We are constantly watching the development and deployment, worldwide, of new technologies in areas such as unified communications, desktop virtualization and public and private Cloud services, because they provide exceptional opportunities for us if used well. Also, employees and customers have expectations in terms of mobility, but we are proceeding in a prudent and considered manner so that we plan and deploy our mobility systems and deliver mobility services flawlessly.

We continue to invest in gaining advantage from the huge amounts of data we have about our customers, how they interact with the bank and with each other, and how we can better meet their needs and become more profitable. This is what some would put under the label of "Big Data" or Analytics. In essence, it is the ability to leverage all kinds of unstructured data in order to understand what our customers need, so we can provide them with better service.

This year, we are also focused on simplifying or rationalizing our IT environment via an enterprise architecture (EA) effort. Currently our environment is overly complex. We need to understand the areas in which we can invest to simplify, and subsequently find the means to improve agility and derive the highest returns from investments in all areas.

What emerging ICT trends are you currently watching closely?
I think "commoditization" is the central issue which is driving many other trends, as it is leading to falling prices and increases in capacity of servers, network, storage (disk, flash and memory) and endpoints. Mobility, Cloud, Big Data: all of these are a result of commoditization. Today many things are possible and cost effective which were unthinkable a few years ago.

What would you say are the key attributes every technology leader should have?
I think an effective technology leader is one who builds strong teams. He needs to choose the right people and in turn they need to choose the right people for their teams. You can tell a lot about a leader by looking at the people they have actually hired-strong people tend to hire strong people as they are not threatened. You can also tell by how they work with the existing people-as very often the technology leader who first comes into a job is considered an 'outsider' by the already established team he's supposed to lead, and kept at arms' length for a period.

Of course, the bottom line is whether they can or cannot deliver. I have seen a lot of 'PowerPoint leaders' and those typically only last a few months.

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