“Fail quickly, Fail often.”
1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here?
My title is the founder and CEO of 1901 Group. In this capacity, I define our strategic vision; encourage our people to execute on the vision; champion the virtue of incremental progress; and facilitate partnerships, community, and customer engagement. My education as an engineer from Virginia Tech, learning about the Industrial Revolution, and my experience as an entrepreneur within the IT System Integrator (SI) market sparked my belief that efficiencies could be achieved through the automation of routine IT tasks using a factory-like assembly line model, and these led me to create 1901 group.
2. Given the massive proliferation of Information and software technology, how do you see the IT market evolving over the next few years?
We see public sector IT changing more over the next five (5) years than what has occurred over the past 30 years. The combination of cloud adoption and the application of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) at the mission application level is the catalyst for this transformational change.
3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
Many of the high-tech jobs of tomorrow did not even exist just a few years ago. With demand for advanced IT skills and experience such as ML, AI, and robotic process automation (RPA) far exceeding the supply today, this skills-gap is creating an environment with free or inexpensive professional training curriculums and certifications that are transforming the job openings of today and tomorrow.
4. Why do you think Cybersecurity has evolved as one of the most focused part of IT?
Rightfully so, society is concerned about the exposure of data and systems that can be used to comprise an organization or a person’s identity. With the proliferation of IT and the amount of data that is stored in the public domain, cybersecurity must remain a key focus area, particularly as bad actors use this data for nefarious activities. From a practical perspective, Cybersecurity can be a specialized service, and it can be a piece of software, and it can be an approach, and it is literally part of every online transaction or digital transmission. So, cybersecurity will continue to properly garner top priority across the globe.
5. How according to you has 1901 Group contributed in the transformation of IT sector?
We are proud of the work we have been doing for our public sector customers and believe that we are helping agencies transform their mission-critical systems through a low-risk, high-reward approach to cloud migration and operations. Also, 1901 Group invests aggressively in the career development of our people to grow IT talent, and “growing talent” versus “hiring talent away from your competitors” is different and transformational.
6. What’s the biggest challenge that you, in your organizational role, need to tackle to make any strategic decisions work?
To practically innovate within complex environments takes vision, consistent communications, and persistence to break from the status quo. You need all three to make strategic decisions really work. The vision must be concise and clear to be understood. Consistent communications must generate buy-in from stakeholders, and there must be a commitment to iterate on the way to your desired results.
7. How do you prepare for an AI centric World?
We prepare for AI every day. We named our company 1901 Group because 1901 was the year the assembly line was invented. We are fans of AI. Our business model is based on and corporate culture is built on applying process improvement, efficiency, automation, and technology to enterprise IT monitoring, management, and optimization.
8. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
As the CEO, I delegate to people who are smarter than me.
9. How do you prepare for a cognitive world as a leader?
I have a passion for reading and enjoy sharing ideas with our employees, our customers, and even our competitors. There is so much opportunity today to innovate, but your team needs to value learning and mantras like “fail quickly/fail often” have applicability to be a good leader.
10. What is the core software technology capability of your firm that you bring to people? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
1901 Group specializes in providing managed IT services to enterprise customers with missions that demand high data security and/or heavy regulatory requirements. We highlight our work with cloud migration and operations and believe our value is greatest to customers with hybrid IT environments.
11. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
We are excited about our Cloud Migration and Operations Factory, and our development of a Firm Fixed Price Migration (FFPM) Model. The ability to help customers estimate IT modernization and IT transformation efforts is a powerful way to help customers know where to start when they are migrating their applications and systems to the cloud and how to incrementally make progress.
12. What is your take on the massive explosion of IT across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
Partnering is a key tactic for 1901 Group, and we invest time and energy in those partners who genuinely support a two-way, not one-way, relationship. We view partners in high regard and have excellent partners as customers, as suppliers, from our community, and of course coming from our employees.