Challenging the Industry

Nick Black, senior technical manager for Trend Micro reveals his views on the regional IT industry.

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Challenging the Industry
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 30, 2012

Nick Black, senior technical manager for Trend Micro reveals his views on the regional IT industry.

Can you tell us how you began working in the IT industry in the UAE?
I transferred countries with Citrix Systems after helping start the Citrix office in South Africa, I then transferred with them to the UAE as a Systems Engineer responsible for pre-sales activities across the Middle East region.

What is the best and worst thing about the networking industry in the UAE?
Generally organisations have built their infrastructure relatively recently which means there are no legacy issues to deal with. The worst thing is that organisations purchase state of the art technology but then it is implemented poorly, and so they do not get the full benefit of what they have paid for. Advanced specialist skills in the region still concerns me after nine years here.

Talk us through your usual daily routine at work.
My days are generally filled with a mixture of global conference calls, customer calls and meetings, team calls and meetings and management meetings. This then means significant time investment in following up on actions that result from these meetings.
I also allocate an amount of time each week to ensure the regional strategy is being followed and to realign team members when required.

What has been your proudest achievement in your career so far?
When I was invited to join Citrix Systems as the no 2 employee in South Africa - I was able to have a direct impact on the success of this new office.

What IT product or innovation should the IT industry watch out for this year?
Thought controlled keyboard? No seriously – I think the mobile consumer space is very interesting at the moment, more importantly how to secure these devices seamlessly without removing functionality and performance.

Comparing the IT industry in the UAE to other countries, do you think it measures up or is lacking, and why?
In all countries there are industry segments that are early adopters and others that are less concerned about technology. This is the same in the UAE. The technology is available in the UAE, financially organisations can generally afford to adopt cutting edge technology – but as I mentioned before, finding the right skills to implement and maintain high performing, highly secure and highly available IT solutions remains a major concern.

What IT company, other than your own do you admire and why?
Apple Inc – they continue to challenge the industry in terms of innovation. They stick with what they believe in even if this means profits are reduced. Their attention to detail and quality are their top priority.

Who do you look up to in your career?
Ed Iacobucci, founder of Citrix and head of the IBM OS/2 Design Team.

What do you do for fun?
Ride quad bikes in the UAE Motocross championships and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

What is one unusual thing about you?
My boredom threshold is very low.

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