Marjet Andriesse is senior vice president and general manager of Red Hat, APAC. Marjet is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of experience in driving customer satisfaction, sales and revenue growth for technology and professional services firms across Europe and Asia. Before joining Red Hat, Marjet was managing director of Telstra in Asia Pacific, responsible for delivering the company’s corporate strategy in the region.
How do you see the larger post-pandemic tech landscape, and what are your views on the emerging challenges in the tech world?
With COVID-19 prompting significant changes in the lives of individuals and companies worldwide, businesses are increasingly realising the need to maintain a fast pace of transformation and stay agile in the face of changing needs and systems.
As a result, businesses are implementing digital strategies that call for transformations of IT projects to help them drive revenue, elevate customer experience, increase efficiency, and control risk. However, going for this shift can be one of the biggest challenges that organisations face. As companies digitally transform and become more fluid and responsive, they are also asking their workforce to approach routine responsibilities in new ways, as the digital economy requires fresh levels of insight, creativity, and flexibility from workers.
What are the growth opportunities in the APAC market? How can businesses and leaders play a central role in creating a sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous Asia?
We see tremendous opportunity in APAC for us to further accelerate and power the digital journey. There is a growing appetite for disruption, as businesses seek to improve results and better the lives of the communities they serve. Companies and leaders can help cultivate a prosperous Asia by ensuring that they tap into the hidden power of communities through a ‘Kampung (village) approach.’ This ensures that companies do not undertake digital transformation for its sake and that the conversation extends well beyond technology to tackle actual business problems and add social value.
What patterns do you see in APAC in terms of the Great Resignation, skills gap and the job market?
Over the past two years, we saw many industries shift their go-to-market model, physical stores investing in digitalisation, and businesses adapting to new ways of working. We are also seeing many companies scale up their capacity and make changes to accommodate remote workers and other surges in demand that were almost unprecedented. Companies in APAC are definitely becoming more aware of their employees’ needs — be it for hybrid working, purpose-driven work, or inclusivity. Companies need to continue on this path and reinvent the employee experience by investing in training, upskilling and open leadership.
So, how can they reinvent employee expectations and the larger employee value proposition?
Hybrid is here to stay. According to Accenture’s ‘Future of Work 2021’ survey, 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model, and 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model. Companies must continue to invest in the right technology and tools to enable productive and collaborative work in 2022 while creating a cohesive company culture.
To continue strengthening the employee experience, take the time to understand existing employees’ perceptions and review your employee value propositions annually. Companies can also look at embracing openness and a culture of community by increasing trust, collaboration, and transparency. This will help their people to become more agile, engaged, and innovative.
What does it take to build a solid culture with the principles of transparency, authenticity, and ownership?
In a company, it is vital to have a culture rooted in open exchange and community-wide participation, as people are a company’s biggest competitive advantage.
Culture is strongly influenced by management behaviour. Leaders might need to rethink some of their habits or even change the organization’s values and workplace culture entirely.
When I joined Red Hat, we made sure that we were connecting more often with our customers, partners, and associates. It is important to listen and understand how our teams are working together across markets and managing the work and home.
Another good practice is that companies should encourage their employees to act, debate, and share to bring their best ideas forward to their technologies and customers. Transformation success begins with sharing. And now more than ever, we need to showcase empathy, we need boldness to reach one another, and we need courageous leadership to help us make it all work together.
What's Red Hat's vision for the future of tech?
Open hybrid cloud is our vision for the future of IT, and it spans everything we do. An open hybrid cloud gives businesses flexibility, control, and choice—and leaves you open to innovation. As technology needs span far outside the traditional realms of the data center and public cloud environments, consistency is now more crucial than ever to successful IT organizations. Combining existing systems with new technologies, whether it’s containers and Kubernetes or cloud services and edge computing, represents a sustainable future for IT.
We have seen many businesses shift towards the open hybrid cloud even before the pandemic. With this in mind, we are continuing to work to lower the barriers to embracing the open hybrid cloud, namely by enhancing the ease of use for our customers. Open source provides a lingua franca for applications running in a server room or on the cloud. We believe that open is the future, and the cloud is hybrid.