In Information Age’s pursuit to understand the great variety of chief technology officers across businesses and industries, we spoke with Avishai Wool, CTO of Algosec – the company that helps its clients to align security with business processes.
As a CTO of a software vendor, we wanted to establish how he defines his role, what it takes for him to succeed and some of the challenges he has faced.
‘Looking to the future’
The CTO’s role is always going to be multi-faceted, with different requirements, skills and board expectations. However, what is certain, is the commitment to the customer.
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AlgoSec is a software vendor, and Wool’s role as a CTO is focused primarily on product planning and supporting complex customer requirements. “But I am always looking into the future as our industry is changing all the time,” explains Wool. The notion of ‘standing still’ should not exist in the technology industry.
“I now see my position as an advisory/review type of role. I try to challenge my team (and company) by asking them pointed questions and forcing them to think about the answers.”
Succeeding in the security industry
“In the security industry, deep understanding of the technology created by my company, along with a broad understanding of where the industry is moving is necessary for success,” says Wool.
“As the CTO of a software solution provider, I have to anticipate the functionalities that customers will be facing in both the near and distant future.”
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This approach, Wool suggests, enables Algosec to create the most effective solutions possible. Solutions that migrate business application connectivity to and between clouds, proactively analyse security risk from the business perspective and automate network security policy changes with zero touch.
Finding the right balance
“For me, the biggest challenges are finding the right balance between what we want to achieve from a product management point of view and what we can realistically deliver given our R&D and QA resources. Striking the right balance is a challenge that I have to address all the time.”
CTO role predictions
The future of almost every business is going to be interesting, because industries are continuing to change at a very rapid pace. Technology innovation and customer demand is driving this change.
The increasing use of the cloud is now a necessity for businesses looking to cuts costs and improve flexibility, ensuring businesses can meet these more complex customer requirements.
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CTOs, Wool thinks, will continue to move toward the adoption of cloud technologies, and cloud estates will continue with new support the rise of new technological innovation.
“The challenges of cloud computing is the big thing that the industry is coming to terms with now. It brings back many of the old questions in a new incarnation. Things that we took for granted for years are once again open for review. For example, not too long ago, securing storage was mostly a non-issue, since storage was connected to computers in the data centre. Now, storage stands alone in the cloud and needs its own protection against hacking and misuse.”
“The cloud itself causes us to re-think. Not owning the network infrastructure means that some of the tried-and-true filtering capabilities are no longer available. We have new types of filtering capabilities from the cloud fabric and they necessitate re-thinking about how we manage cloud estates.”