An interview with Paul Garabedian

Take a few minutes to meet Business Aspect’s newest Partner Paul Garabedian.
A highly committed and energetic individual, Paul joined the Business Aspect team earlier this year in NSW. In a career of nearly two decades in management and consulting roles in the ICT industry, Paul brings strong commercial relationships and significant success in delivering far-reaching business transformation in organisations across the state.
Paul shares some observations about his team’s current projects and the biggest challenges and opportunities facing business and government organisations today.

Tell us about what you are working on with Business Aspect clients? 

There is a lot of activity around business transformation and improving the customer experience through Digital channels.  We are involved with several business transformation projects where we are supporting clients from the inside looking out ie Business Strategy, IT Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and Information Architecture projects. We are also assisting clients from the outside in, where we are engaged on customer experience driven programs of work -  changing business processes to suit customer needs.

Whilst the benefits of cloud are widely acknowledged, there are still a lot of organisations trying to figure out how to get there.  We do a lot of work with clients assessing their current state and defining the path forward to achieve their business goals.

Who have been the most influential people in your career so far? Why? 

I’ve been lucky enough to be mentored by two impressive individuals early in my career. Both had very differing styles – the first was a CIO of a very large ASX listed corporation who was very influential around how to manage and communicate effectively across large teams.  

The second held a similar role - a CTO of another large organisation.  He had an incredible amount of technical knowledge and was quite visionary, but what really impressed me was his ability to extract what was practical and implementable from the extensive hype that often surrounds new technologies and offerings in the market. 

In a career spanning nearly two decades working in the ICT industry, what have been your most interesting/memorable experiences?

I recall a governance meeting with a client many years ago that still sticks in my mind. We were supporting them through a SAP transformation and looking at their data and information sources forming their Business Intelligence strategy. Building a single data warehouse was the ‘in vogue’ strategy at that time - where all of a company’s information was stored in one place for reporting. The vendor was positioning the data warehouse as the way to get a single source of truth , a panacea that would arguably solve all company problems. My client thought through what the vendor was saying and responded with “a single source of the truth, or a common delusion”.  I still find that comment funny after all this time.  Its validity is absolutely relevant even in today's “Big Data” world. It comes down to the quality of your information to help drive your business as much as its accessibility.

In your opinion what megatrends (Big Data, Mobility, IoT etc) pose the biggest challenge/opportunity for organisations?

I think IoT, Robotics and AI all offer huge potential for organisations to create business value. However, the technology has raced ahead of our ability to understand how we can utilise these technologies effectively. Certainly our current engagements reflect that – more clients want us to help them investigate the mega trends and understand how it may impact their future as opposed to actual implementations right now.

There is nothing new about the goals that the mega trends are driving towards. At its heart Robotics is about business process efficiency, and IoT is really a form of large scale asset management and analytics. The key to unlocking the value of these newer technologies is the ability to tie it all together with strategy, architecture and understanding the likely insights these solutions can provide.

Do you have any advice for organisations looking to embark on a business transformation?

Start with the end in mind. When you have clearly defined what success looks like, ensure this is communicated down thorough all the layers of your organisation.  The staff on the ground need to understand what it means for them as much as the leadership team. Don’t rush this part – it takes time to get the business on board.  

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I’m active and try to keep fit. I love all sports with my favourites being basketball, tennis, rugby, water skiing and snowboarding. I am also transitioning to coaching with my children reaching a more competitive age. I definitely got the biggest adrenaline rush from heli-boarding in Alaska a few years ago – I have ambitions to do it again as long as my life insurance is up to date! 

For more information on any of the topics discussed in Paul’s interview please contact the Business Aspect Head Office online or call us on 1300 06 06 42.