The gadget guy

The gadget guy

Dimension Data's Ronnie Altit loves the IT industry, is obsessed with gadgets, and has some thoughts on datacentres and selling

What was your first job?

I graduated as an accountant, and my first job was as a consultant to a tier-two accounting firm helping small organisations implement accounting systems.

Where did you go from there?

I ended up doing an infrastructure management role with Credit Suisse First Boston and spent a year in Hong Kong then Singapore looking after South-East Asian infrastructure. I came back to Australia as their CIO, then did nothing for a year-and-a-half before jumping onto the integration side.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

I started dabbling with NetWare 286, found I was good at it and enjoyed it. I did helpdesk support, then infrastructure management, then a CIO's role. After that I literally bumped into an old friend of mine, David Solsky, in early 2002, who asked me if I would set up a consulting practice within his business, SecureData. I worked for him for about a year-and-a-half until Dimension Data took over the company [in 2004].

SecureData was a really big organisation that got done trying to make the transition from product to services. But we haven't looked back since we joined DiData.

What do you like about your current job?

Everything. People say to me that I work really hard, but hard work is doing something you don't enjoy. I love the fact that I get to meet with so many diverse people and organisations and understand so many different businesses. Previously, I was focused on investment banking, but what I knew about manufacturing or government you could write on the head of a pin with a Texta. The opportunity to meet and understand business issues as they relate to different organisations, and then that ability to help them solve their business problems with technology, is great.

What's the biggest achievement of your career?

Being able to successfully transition from the customer side to the integration side and building the datacentre business in DiData. Last year our practice grew by more than 50 per cent and it's the second largest line of business in Australia. I've been able to get the team behind me and the right people are in place. We've worked together to turn it into a success. Now it's about how we leverage that and grow again.

What's the key focus this year?

A key focus for me is to build brand equity and be the company people think of when they are looking at data management issues, storage concerns, virtualisation, or anything to do with their datacentre.

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