By Ash Patel – Marketing Specialist, The Open Group
Following the recent Washington, D.C. event, we reached out to Tony Black, to discuss his new role as a Newly Elected Member for The Open Group Governing Board. We are very pleased to have him on board with us and look forward to seeing the impact he makes for the Governing Members. Upon talking to Tony, we discussed what he hopes to achieve in his role, advice he may have for those looking to work in the IT industry and much more. Thank you again to Tony for his time. Please see the full interview below:
- What made you interested in The Open Group?
I became interested in The Open Group, because I was looking for a way to accomplish two very important things, which are:
1) Continue to learn and grow in the IT profession
2) Find a way to give back and to contribute to others in the IT profession
At the time I joined The Open Group I had just over 20 years in the IT industry, and I wanted to find a way to give back to the profession that has given me so much over time. I believe the best way to do that is via a society and/or organization who embodies that same spirit.
- What made you interested in running for the elected member role, as part of the Governing board?
I have a passion for leadership and being in a position where I can use my voice to bring attention to and express new and innovative thoughts and ideas. I always want to be able to strive to get better and be better. I want to help growth and make an impact. I had already been involved in multiple forums in The Open Group and I felt this position on the board would allow me the opportunity to have a greater impact.
- What did you like most about the Washington, DC event?
The best part about the Washington, DC event was the fact that we were all in-person and able to engage and network with one another physically. Absolutely nothing beats face-to-face engagement.
- Which of the presentations were you most looking forward too?
I was most looking forward to the IT4IT™ presentation by Lars Rossen. I’m a member of that Forum and a fan of the IT4IT Initiatives. And Lars did not disappoint. I appreciate the flexibility of the IT4IT strategy and framework across multiple technologies and industries.
- Can you describe any key takeaways from the event that stuck with you?
I believe all of those who attended were very appreciative of the opportunity to physically be present while listening to the speakers. Additionally, the in-person networking proved to be very rewarding as well. And lastly, I believe we were all reminded that in this post-pandemic phase we are currently in, life does go on and so do we.
- Please can you highlight your previous experience prior to this role?
Sure, I am currently a Healthcare/Life Sciences Technical Leader for Kyndryl Inc where I work with healthcare payers, providers, pharmaceuticals, and partners to create solution’s which address the business needs and challenges of my clients.
I have a technical, healthcare, and privacy acumen and background; and close to 30 years of technical expertise, sales, and management experience. I’m particularly strong in Application infrastructure and architecture, after spending a large part of my career in the Application performance, management, and monitoring space.
Prior to my role at Kyndryl, I worked for IBM and CA Technologies.
At IBM I was also a Healthcare/Life Sciences Technical leader. Additionally, I was a Sr. Inventor via my work on patents and a member of the IBM Industry Academy as a healthcare leader, and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology via my technical leadership.
At CA Technologies I was a VP of Technical Sales leading an organization of 100+ technical consultants to support the sales and growth of the Service Assurance business.
I currently hold the following Open Group certifications –
- Open CA Distinguished Architect
- Open CTS Distinguished Technical Specialist
- TOGAF® 9 Foundation
- TOGAF® 9 Certified
- TOGAF® Business Architect Level 1
- IT4IT™ Foundation
- DPBoK™ Foundation
- What do you feel that you can bring to the role, whilst using your previous experience?
I feel I can bring a history of experience regarding board leadership, a different point-of-view and perspective and a fresh, innovative, and diverse presence to the board. I view this board position as an opportunity for me to both contribute and learn and that’s what I plan to do.
- How important is collaboration to you?
Collaboration is everything to me. I truly believe you give yourself and others a much greater opportunity of achieving success via collaboration than you do with isolation. Everyone needs everyone. However, it’s also important to understand, success and innovation are driven by collaborating diverse backgrounds, diverse points-of-views, diverse experiences, seasoned voices, as well as entry-level voices. It’s the element of diversity within your strategy of collaboration that brings you strength in the success you experience.
- What does the word ‘Community’ mean to you?
The word ‘Community” to me means individuals with a shared interest and motivation coming together for the purpose getting engaged and involved for the greater benefit of everyone. A community gives everyone an opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself. Once again, “togetherness” breeds success.
- What do you hope to achieve whilst working with the Governing Members?
I simply hope to use my voice and presence to make an impact and achieve a greater sense of collaboration, community, and growth. I believe The Open Group truly has a vision and mission to enable those who work across all fields of technologies and various industries with the best set of standards, methods, tools, strength and knowledge that will allow them to continue to be successful.
- Are there any stories you would like to share that has shaped you professionally into the person you are today?
There is one story that has shaped me into the person I am today which is the story of perseverance, positivity, and hunger. Being raised by my grandmother she constantly reminded me and my brother that life will always throw challenges and obstacles your way. The real test is how you respond. She always said in order to persevere you must always think, remain positive, and remain hungry. You’ll never get anywhere by simply settling and never trying. So, I live by these words each day, and obviously some days are better than others, but I simply stick with it.
- If you could develop a new type of technology, what would it be any why?
If I could develop a new type of technology, it would be focused on children and be based on allowing children from all walks of life, diverse backgrounds, and different languages to effectively and easily engage and communicate with one another in the absence of adults. This would be very interesting to see if this would ultimately change people’s views and beliefs about one another and over time breed a new society.
- What is a business philosophy or principle that you follow?
The business philosophy I follow is actually the same philosophy I follow in life, which is to simply treat others like you want to be treated. Take the time to engage and communicate with others. Don’t be so quick to pre-judge. Listen to all points-of-view before making decisions. And most importantly, let everyone know they all have a responsibility to everyone else.
Ash Patel, Marketing Specialist, joined The Open Group in 2020, initially working in the Certification Team as a Certification Services Agent, before moving into the Marketing Team where he now works on digital communications, content for the staff intranet (O-Zone), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and analytics. Ash holds a First-Class Bachelor’s Degree in Media Production (BA hons) from Coventry University and has a background in content writing, copy writing, script writing, photo editing, and video editing. He is based in the UK.