Friday, August 12, 2022

Know: Dynatrace’s Maurizio Garavelo – Intelligent CIO APAC

On the lighter side of things, we ask Maurizio Garavelo, Vice President Asia Pacific, Dynatrace, what makes him tick.

Maurizio Garavelo, Vice President Asia Pacific, Dynatrace

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

As a leader, the best moments always come when you see your team members achieving great results. An earlier report of mine, who first worked with me in 2009, had recently accepted a CEO role with a promising start-up in the UK. I’ve watched him rise up the ranks over the past 13 years and am so glad to hear his latest news – and proud to have been his mentor for so long.

What was the first thing you thought about making a career in technology?

I’ve always liked tech about anything. When I was nine years old, in the eighties, my dad gave me and my brother a Spectrum computer, and that allowed me to do a little programming. Later, after completing my national service, I took a job with IBM, doing a cemetery shift in one of their data centers in Italy. There were all kinds of maintenance tasks that couldn’t be done during the day and then there was breakfast at McDonald’s at 7 a.m. – happy day!

What style of management philosophy do you use with your current position?

I try to remind myself every day that no one knows it all; Everyone is equally important. That’s why I support a flat management structure and a culture that shares as much data as possible at every level of the organization. This makes for better employee engagement and better decision making. A former boss of mine used to say that money, fun and recognition are essential elements of a high-performing team. I think if I remind myself of this and prioritize working on those three aspects for my team, I will get the most out of them.

What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?

Anything AI or cloud related. In 2022, all organizations faced the same basic challenge: whatever the nature of their business, they need to do things faster and better. This means identifying opportunities for the adoption of automation technology. Take DynaTrace for example. Our platform helps companies accelerate the business of software development by automatically processing quadrillion data instances. This is a task that no human will ever be able to accomplish but AI can do it easily and accurately.

How do you deal with stress and relax outside the office?

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My kids are 10 and five years old. They are my hobbies – my downtime is spent engaging with them to pursue their interests, I find it easier to find passion where they have passion and I encourage them to try everything . I don’t really play any games. I guess I’m the only Italian in the world who doesn’t follow football – maybe that’s why I left Italy – my dad kicked me out! Here in Singapore, we have a great group of friends from all over. There are so many opportunities for me to get into the kitchen and pretend to be a good Italian chef. It’s not true, but no one on this side of the world knows!

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

I certainly would have worked harder on my soft skills earlier in my career. I was pretty good on the technical side – that’s what counted when I was with IBM – and sure, you need those hard skills to be successful, but you also need to be able to articulate that What you want to do, and how, and be able to package it. You don’t have to be a political animal, but you do need to learn how to communicate so that people can engage.

What do you currently identify as key areas of investment in your industry?

Re-skilling the workforce and preparing emerging ICT leaders for a very different world. In the past, CIOs and gun technical staff were tasked with attending exhibitions and trade shows to select the solutions and hardware needed to run operations in the background. Today, their role is to enable the business to accelerate and flourish. We need to teach the entire ICT workforce to think this way – about discovering and enhancing the true value of what technology can achieve for business, rather than focusing on setting it up and keeping it running. In. Ensuring that people are in sync with what is in the ICT stack is another major challenge for organizations. Many people specialize in older technologies, but newer technologies are coming to market faster than ever and not everyone is able to understand the real value in using or adopting them.

What are the sector specific challenges while implementing new technologies in APAC?

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The many countries, cultures and languages ​​means it is a very fragmented market. Europe has some similar challenges but is more compact and has fewer time zones. This makes it easier to deal with and achieve success. At Dynatrace, our people are our most valuable asset, we find that a melting pot of employees is a great help. That’s why there’s an Italian guy running in Singapore, a Finnish guy on the hot seat in Wellington, and developers around the world working out of Australia. This leads to the cross-pollination of unique perspectives, experiences and skills that foster creativity and innovation. We find that this helps us communicate and operate on a global scale and in turn helps us get what we need from central teams located in other parts of the world.

What changes have you seen in your job role over the past year and how do you see these evolving over the next 12 months?

After the lock down of 2021, the journey is finally starting again. Last week I was in Australia, next week is Dubai and my team is also moving. I don’t think we will return to the old, pre-Covid ways, though. It used to be that nothing would have happened without a face-to-face meeting, but going forward, I envisage nine out of 10 conversations with customers going online. Instead of talking turkey, the in-person get together will be for relationship building purposes.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get a C level position in your industry?

It’s not just your talent that will get you into the C suite. You must be able to think broadly and deeply and to collect a wide variety of experiences: functional, cultural and geographic. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself in the hot seat and explore different things whenever you get a chance. It is a mistake to think that you will be able to do the job of your boss, simply because you are great on your own. You also have to be ready to work hard. Long hours in the office are a part of it and then, after hours, you need to meet people, study, travel… the opportunities to switch off are always limited and it is for that reality. Helps you get ready.

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