Name: Lise Hagen
Designation: Research Manager Software and IT Services Africa
Company: IDC (International Data Corporation)
What do you do every day? This role is both bewildering and exciting, often in the same hour. Days are fast-paced, demanding, with long hours. My tasks can include back-to-back interviews with vendors and clients, and then switch to a strategy presentation for executive teams.
When I’m working on a consulting project, especially if it is based here in South Africa, it includes a lot of client-facing meetings, project management, weekly updates, and keeping a very close pulse on the engagement’s progress. I have the privilege to be invited to do technology and market trend presentations in South Africa and across Africa on a regular basis, and my mantra is preparation, preparation, preparation. This includes both researching content, creating compelling presentations, and practicing the delivery – all of which can take up a lot of time.
The part that I relish the most is the writing. Lots and lots of writing: Reports; Return on Investment analysis; Whitepapers; Articles. However, the accompanying dreaded and dratted deadlines truly are the bane of my existence.
How did you get into the tech space? Since I have two MA’s in Social Sciences, I ask myself, and get asked, this question on a regular basis. Technology is a tool, and it would be remiss not to acknowledge and investigate the impact that this tool has on our lives – whether it is as a consumer, as a professional or as a human. My tech and teleco roles utilised and developed my analytical outlook and ability to disseminate complex content in a clear and concise manner. And gadgets. I love gadgets.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Best? Dunno. Most impactful? Regret the things that you’ve done rather than the things you haven’t done.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? In my opinion there is no right or wrong discipline to follow in order to work in the tech sector. For specialised programming – sure, have the skills and qualification, if so required. But I hire for both aptitude and attitude: curiosity, an analytical approach, a process focus. Also: always keep abreast of technological developments across various disciplines. Ours is a world hurtling towards convergence, and you need to know what the dots could be before connecting them.
What motivates you to get out of bed every day? I have to admit that the act of just getting out of bed sometimes amounts to a Herculean task, but sheer will (especially at 4:30M in winter!) gets me up early to do some writing on my novel.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? Being grown up is vastly overrated, although it has its perks, like being able to have a tube of Pringles for dinner. As for who? I’m me – but I’d like to be a me who is a full-time time novelist.
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