Notes from a CTO, First in a Series
By John Durant, EVP & CTO, Kaseya
Recently at a soiree, a tall and genial man heard what I do for a living and started asking questions. His inquiries revealed a measure of anxiety. As the founder and CEO of fast-growing business, he wants and needs reliable plans and leadership from his R&D team. No doubt, he trusts his team, but for him, many CEOs, and other senior leaders who are not immersed in technology every minute of the day, the whole technology realm often feels opaque—even mystical. And, it can even happen to people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk who is no doubt frustrated by the constant delays of the Model 3. For all of us, it is easy to get mesmerized by the technology “Medusa.” Under its spell, whole companies can turn to stone.
Those of us in technology leadership must work diligently to take the mystery and magic out of technology, tools, and processes. There is great power in being able to turn them into a strategic asset that creates competitive advantages for the businesses we serve. This requires us to stay grounded in basic leadership and business principles, remain close to what customers and the marketplace want and need, and keep up with trends in technology, tools, and techniques.
In the coming weeks and months, I will be sharing my ideas about how you can drive greater business success through a combination of leadership and technology. Specifically, you can expect to read about three topic areas:
- Leadership – Practical advice about leading groups, managing large teams at scale, and helping your employees be more successful
- Marketplace trends – The latest trends transforming the business world and how you and your customers can take advantage of them to outshine your competitors
- Technology, tools, and processes – Cutting-edge technology that’s reshaping businesses and how you can leverage it for greater success
While these themes are not new, my goal is to bring a unique perspective based on more than 25 years of experience in business operations and product development. Some subjects will center around just one product or technolog,y while others may be broadly applicable to leaders in any field. No matter the topic, my hope is that when you hit the close button and walk away from your computer, you will be able to approach the challenges in front of you in new ways that improve your success. I look forward to the ongoing conversation and encourage your feedback along the way.
(John Durant is EVP & CTO for Kaseya, and leads the company’s product development, IT, and cloud/SaaS operations teams. A business-minded technologist, Durant applies rich management and executive leadership experience to align innovation and operational teams to best serve the needs of customers. Durant comes to Kaseya with an impressive nearly 25 year track record of business operations and development. Prior to Kaseya, he served as CTO & SVP at Code42, a cloud-based endpoint data security and recovery provider, and was responsible for cloud operations, IT, business systems, product management, and engineering. Prior to Code42, Durant was an executive for a venture research firm, where he used a lean startup approach and predictive analytics to develop new business entities in technology and healthcare. Earlier in his career, Durant led software development efforts at Microsoft for almost eight years and co-authored the popular technical book, “XML Programming Bible, 3rd Edition.”)