CxO of the Week: Douglas Kennedy, CTO, Aegon Life

By : |December 21, 2018 0

CxO of the Week: Douglas Kennedy, CTO, Aegon Life, he has been in the technology industry for 25 plus years and been fortunate to have worked for some of the biggest technology companies during the dot com era.

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infra in your organization?

My priority when making decisions for Aegon Life is the need for a business benefit and it does not need to be primarily based around costs. The decision must be aligned to the business strategy of the organisation which in turn is aligned to the technology architecture needed to support.

Challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

I think digital transformation is a much-overused phrase and is not something I align too. Our goal is always to delight our customers by providing the experiences they need using the interaction channel that they prefer. The aim at Aegon Life is to simplify by creating a more flexible, more agile business that’s able to respond to the evolving expectations of our customers increase the pace at which we can change and meet those expectations.

Do you feel that fresher’s in the industry come with only basic knowledge but don’t have the right skills to fulfill job requirements? If yes, your suggestion to students and colleges?

                                 

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Higher education provides a generic platform from which graduates can then build their career. For me, it’s less about having people knowing the latest technology and more about providing a platform where people learn to learn. This may seem a strange term but a programming language is a programming language the trick is your ability to easily move from one language or technology to another. From my time working in the USA and UK I think in general under-graduate programs are good, it’s more down to the attitude of the students.

What’s your mantra to become successful in life?

I like the quote from Willie Nelson that says “I live one day at a time, one day at a time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is blind, so I live one day at a time.” Concentrate on being successful for today and don’t worry about what has gone and what is to come, you cannot do anything about it.

What would you like to give back to the society?

From time to time I have done a lot of volunteering from my time in the USA and the UK I was involved in the Scouting movement. This is a great way to allow kids to experience a wide variety of experiences that are typically not open to them.

Your favourite book and what are you reading now?

I love to read and this is an easy question my favourite book is Old Man of the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, it’s a short story but the writing and the way the author creates vivid images from the simple sentences is outstanding. I am currently reading Camino Island by John Grisham picked up at an airport to read on a flight but ended up sleeping the entire journey.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love being outdoors and to exercise, daily I run at least 5K and when I make it back home to Scotland always look to get out on my road bike or play golf. Running for me is a way of life and it’s my way to unwind and forget everything.

Experience

I have been in the technology industry for 25 plus years and been fortunate to have worked for some of the biggest technology companies during the dot com era. An experience that I cherish as it was an incredible learning experience. I started my career as a hardware design engineer after graduating in Electronic Engineering and made the gradual transition into software engineering and architecture and design.

First Job – Sun Microsystems

Education – A Master’s degree in Business Administration from The Open University and a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Take a look at the previous CxO of the Week

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