Chris Attucks was recently promoted to Chief Technology Officer. This role was strategically created as the logical path forward for TCDI, as we continue to grow and keep our clients on the leading edge of technology. We had the opportunity to sit down with Chris to discuss what this role means to him and what it means for the future of TCDI.
Q: Tell us a little more about your new role and the need you are filling for TCDI?
Chris: The role of Chief Technology Officer can vary greatly from organization to organization. I believe we will define and shape this role to best serve TCDI clients and employees. TCDI has such a wide inventory of skillsets and technologies deployed that this role was inevitable. Technical Operations and Systems Operations conduct many evaluations and proof of concepts that happen behind the scenes. I intend to make things like this more visible to the entire company. CTO’s historically ensure that the technological resources align with the company’s business needs, so this role will serve to bridge some areas and empower the teams to become more enterprise minded and innovative in our internal and external solutions. This is a role I aspired to hold and I’m very excited to be given the opportunity. This role will also allow me to further my personal development by gaining deeper understanding of our applications and development processes while getting much closer to the voice of the customer.
Q: In what ways will your focus change as CTO? What are you most looking forward to as you step into this new role?
Chris: At this time, my focus will remain very much the same, but expand. As VP of Technical Operations, my focus was more on Datacenter operations. I will now be more involved with technology and infrastructure improvements across all teams. I will be working closely with internal and external resources to match infrastructure to request and work with partners to remain aware of industry trends regards to infrastructure technology. I am really looking forward being a part of the automation and product evolution that is happening and not just from the backend systems infrastructure perspective.
Q: Skills can be taught but often times effective leadership cannot. What does it mean to you to be a leader? How has your leadership style evolved throughout your career?
Chris: Early in life, it was instilled in me that a leader is responsible for everything his team does or fails to do. I’ve held several management positions and sit on a board in a CTO Advisory role. At TCDI, I have been a member of the team and given the opportunity to lead the team in different capacities. It is my job to ensure TCDI Core Values are essential part of the mindset. Each leadership role is very unique and I have learned one method is not the answer. A leader has to be able to adapt, improvise, and overcome. I look forward to empowering others the way the leadership team has empowered me.
Q: It feels like exciting times at TCDI. As someone who has grown with the company, what do you see as biggest drivers towards growth?
Chris: These are very exciting times at TCDI. The continued evolution of our SaaS offerings, the compliance, management, and security of data are a few of the biggest drivers of growth. The ability to ingest, store, and retrieve data at faster speeds while providing increased security continues to drive innovation and development of tools and skillsets.
Q: Security and technology are ever-changing. How do you and how does TCDI stay on the leading edge of technology and security?
Chris: Keeping up with security and technology has proven to be very challenging, to a greater extent over the last few years. Our teams consist of some of the best Architects and Engineers in the industry and we utilize our networks of colleagues, partners, and vendors to always remain in the know. Being able to discern or filter the noise affiliated with keeping yourself on the leading edge is a skill in itself. We are continually updating our skills via instructor led and self-paced training. Partnering with technology providers helps keep us close to the heartbeat of technology and insure we are optimizing our investments.
Q: Any final thoughts or words of advice for someone looking to emulate your career path? What are you most excited about as you look to the future?
Chris: For those that are seeking the most out of their personal and professional career, I would encourage them to not let anyone define their dreams. Be dedicated, committed, and execute precisely on things that add value to each day. I believe if you give more than you receive and empower those around you, you will be rewarded. It is imperative to form great relationships with those that can be brutally honest with you. The list is too long for the people that have contributed to my success but right along the top of that list would sit Susan Bright and the TCDI Leadership team.
Regarding the outlook to the future, I am very excited about the growth of the company and the new technologies that will be deployed as we strive for more automation and innovation. I look forward to seeing our products and skillsets used across a variety of industries.