By @SimonCocking, interesting interview with Tony O’Malley CEO  and inspired by value creation, employee empowerment, sport and passionate people.

Can you please outline your background, briefly?

I served in the Irish Defence Forces from 1986 until 1998. Entering as a cadet, I was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1988 beginning my career in the Communication and Information Services Corps. After serving overseas with the United Nations in Lebanon in 1995, I retired as a Captain from the Defence Forces to work in the private ICT sector. I began my career with Fujitsu upon joining ICL computers in 1998 (acquired by Fujitsu in 2002), where I held a variety of senior positions across delivery, consultancy, sales and account management and have now over 25 years’ management experience. I currently hold the role of CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Director of Fujitsu Ireland Limited board, leading its 350-plus team to provide innovative ICT services to the public and private sector in the Irish marketplace.

Does your path to where you are now in your career seem like a logical trajectory?

One might suggest I took the ‘scenic route’. Technology and Maths always interested me and even having pursued a career initially in the Irish Defence Forces, my interests came to the forefront again when deciding to study for a BSc in Computer Applications in Dublin City University while still serving with the Army. Once I completed my degree, I undertook a more technical role within the newly formed Communication & Information Services Division before I decided to move to the private sector. Once in the private sector, I knew my ultimate goal was to move into general management so I devised a career plan at that stage to seek the required role diversity, experience and skills to realise that goal.

Can you please give a 1 minute pitch for your responsibilities and what you are doing now?

I am Country Leader for Fujitsu here in Ireland and my job is to lead our 350 strong staff in delivering value to our customers and in doing so, leverage the considerable global strength of a truly global leading company like Fujitsu Corporation with a worldwide force in excess of 160,000 and an extensive track record in technology and service provision.

Fujitsu have done a lot of work on remaining innovative and relevant, what are the latest and most interesting initiatives that Fujitsu are working on?

Fujitsu Ireland has a vision to be the leading IT services provider in the Irish marketplace and to be the partner and employer of choice. We plan to achieve our ambitions by leveraging our extensive global and local capability for our Irish customers to help them grow their business, in some cases transform their operations or customer experience, and to position our customers to avail of the significant opportunity that the Digital Age presents. Some of our latest and most innovative initiatives include:

Co-Creation: At Fujitsu, we believe that thriving in this new world of Digital Disruption goes beyond technology. Digital disruption means that organizations need to learn fast, act quickly and scale rapidly. All of these qualities can be enabled by technology, but only when it is employed in a way that is truly aligned to the needs of that organization. The concept of co-creation, readily embraced by many, is key to that alignment. At Fujitsu, we aim to create something that delivers real and lasting value. Businesses and their technology partners cannot be at arms-length from each other. Instead, they must work together to create solutions that draw from the expertise present on both sides. When we look at the issues that cause business leaders concern, or that hold their organizations back, we can see why co-creation is so vital to their ability to thrive. Internal issues that govern their ability to respond to digital disruption – strategy, culture, talent, leadership – all take a backseat when compared to worries about how to be more agile, innovate faster, or deal with aging infrastructure.

Retail:  Fujitsu aims to help retailers improve efficiency, grow their businesses and know their customers better with IT solutions that solve current challenges and create new opportunities. Everything we do in the retail arena is geared towards these three growth directives.

With Connected Retail, Fujitsu is helping retail brands around the world keep their doors open to their customers, day and night. Working side by side with retail teams, we are establishing connected, omni-channel enterprise strategies that deliver seamless customer experiences in the face of rising expectations. For example, we are moving towards a scenario where retailers can offer in-store digital mirrors to customers, tailored to their preferences, along with increasing the integration and convenience of point of sale applications. We are moving toward an environment where consumers will be able to purchase their items in-store without having to queue or go to a cash point.

Fujitsu’s Intelligent support systems allow retailers to offer ‘always on’ services to consumers. Fujitsu has been working hard with its partners to rethink the traditional retail IT and support service model ensuring reliability of services. Downtime in IT can be costly for retailers and our model maintains service delivery.

Integration of technology across various retail functions facilitates customer convenience and is key to retention and loyalty. The Fujitsu Market Place offering allows retailers to streamline their retail experience whether customers are browsing online, in-store, on a tablet or PC

Transport: As the popularity of digital services continues to grow, transport organisations are under increasing pressure to implement IT solutions to: Enhance the passenger experience, provide up-to-date information, expand upon previously existing infrastructure, increase capacity to accommodate growing numbers of passengers and reduce operating costs. For over 30 years Fujitsu has been supporting the transport industry throughout the world. Our tailored IT services and solutions have helped transform the transport industry by overhauling their IT and communication systems and digitising their services. Whether road, rail, maritime or aviation, Fujitsu’s IT solutions are uniquely designed to solve the individual challenges faced by every commuter.

Ask passengers what they want when they travel and most will tell you the same thing: a hassle-free journey. Whether they’re using an international mega-terminal or a regional hub, passengers want an experience that’s fast, predictable and stress-free. That means getting them through security and check-in procedures quickly and efficiently and providing up-to-date flight information, clean and comfortable departure lounges, and world-class retail and hospitality environments for those who choose to use them. Passengers also increasingly expect the sort of personalized and relevant customer experiences they receive from consumer brands – experiences that make their journey more informed and enjoyable, but that also that deliver profitable interactions for the airport and its onsite partners. At Fujitsu we aim to implement and provide all of the above through technological innovations such as self-service kiosks, live flight and baggage statuses, e-ticketing and mobile check in’s.

What tips would you give for companies to remain relevant and innovative?

Listen to your customers, try and anticipate where the market trends are moving towards and invest in your people so that they overcome future challenges and are ready to realise the opportunities that lay ahead.

What is Fujitsu’s latest initiative in relation to STEM?

Fujitsu operates in a unique industry and in my opinion, one of the biggest challenges facing the ICT industry is attracting and retaining talent. As already widely reported, there is an insufficient number of qualified professionals to fill the current market vacancies. There are numerous ways of resolving these issues: promoting ICT-relevant subjects within our schools curriculum at an early stage, providing opportunities for employees to develop their IT skills through retraining/upskilling, competitive packages, culture of positive work life balance – together these help to improve the attractiveness of ICT careers across the board- keeping both companies and employers innovative and relevant. Another key challenge that needs to be addressed is increasing the accessibility within the sector for people to re-enter the workforce; in particular greater female participation within the sector. In November 2016 Fujitsu launched Women’s Business Network to enable its female employees to address gender balance and to promote the value and importance of its female workforce in a male-dominated sector. This year Fujitsu entered into a 2 year partnership with National Council of the Blind Ireland to support their goal of greater diversity within the workforce by increasing the number of people with disabilities active in the Irish workforce. In the UK, Fujitsu is an early adopter of gender pay reporting and the reason for this is to progress our diversity ambitions within the technology and sciences sector.

Who are your sources of inspiration?

First and foremost it is my family as they are the motivation and inspiration for what I do. My parents instilled in all of their children the value of education and knowledge at a very early age and this is something that I am carried forward into my career and something I am passionate about. Finally, passionate people in general inspire me and that is a very rich source when one considers my colleagues and customers, and also heroes from the sporting and the arts worlds.

Is there anything else that we should have asked / you’d like to add?

Fujitsu is involved in a very important initiative in partnership with Dublin Chamber Commerce focussing on Dublin 2050 and considering what a great city would like in the future, what we need to plan for and how we get the various stakeholders involved. This initiative is very much aligned with Fujitsu’s corporate vision for a human centric intelligent society. Dublin Chamber are running a survey right now looking for people’s views on what they want & need from their capital city of the future and I would urge as many people as possible to participate in this.

More about Tony O’Malley, CEO Fujitsu Ireland

Tony O’Malley, CEO Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of Fujitsu Ireland Limited board, leads its 350 plus team to provide innovative ICT services to the public and private sector in the Irish marketplace. In his role as CEO, he is committed to value creation and delivery for its customers and bringing forward Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society. He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan in the area of Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living. He is a member of Fujitsu UK & Ireland Regional Leadership team tasked with driving responsible growth in the region.

He was appointed to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce’s Council in February 2016 and as a member he represents the interests of businesses in the Greater Dublin area and contributes to the ongoing work of the Chamber at a broad strategic level. He works on the Education, Dublin 2050 and Policy committees.

He is a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for Insight, one of Europe’s largest data analytics research organisations.  Tony is also a member of IBEC and the Institute of Directors.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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