Breaking the Technology Spell: How to Make Tech a Greater Business Advantage

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.

Posted by John Durant
As Kaseya’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, John Durant leads the company’s product development, security and cloud/SaaS operations teams across all brands. A business-minded technologist, Mr. Durant applies his rich management and executive leadership experience in aligning innovation and operational teams to best serve the needs of customers. Known for his infectious energy and strong sense of mission, Mr. Durant empowers and inspires his teams to build better products, strengthen foundations, and innovate in meaningful ways. Mr. Durant joined Kaseya from Code42, where he served as CTO and senior vice president with responsibilities for cloud operations, IT, business systems, product management and engineering. Prior to Code42, Mr. Durant worked as 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, Mr. Durant led software development efforts at Microsoft for nearly eight years and co-authored the popular technical book, “XML Programming Bible, 3rd Edition.” Mr. Durant holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature and Linguistics from Brigham Young University, a Master of Arts in French Literature from Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts from the University of Minnesota.
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