Music and IT are not so Different, from a President and Former DJ
For those of you who don’t already know, I have been a professional DJ, once playing to the crowds in New York’s music scene – from small lounges to large and established venues. I’ll admit that when most people think about the president of a technology company, they don’t generally picture them as a DJ, but from my experience, the link between music and technology runs much deeper than just synthesizers, SoundCloud, and what artists listen to in order to get into ‘The Zone’.
Music, business and harmonic compatibility
Take, for example, our recent acquisition of Attenda. Just as two songs need to be harmonically compatible in order to come together as one — so do two businesses. Merging two similar, yet distinct and complimentary companies seamlessly to create something harmonious can be challenging. It’s about knowing how to blend the beats in a way that creates the right emotions, the right atmosphere and ultimately a seamless transition. This can only be done when two companies are similar in terms of culture, ethos and outlook. It’s about un-siloing areas to create something wonderful. This was the beauty of bringing Attenda, Ensono and now Inframon together which has made the crowds feel great.
Music, business and nurturing talent
Another thing that stuck with me from my time on the DJ circuit was the importance of nurturing talent. I partnered with the person who first tutored me to create an artist development studio for children in New York. The development studio gives them an opportunity to develop skills not just in DJing, but also music production, as well as providing the tools to make the first steps in their music careers. Two of the prodigy students that went through the program secured headline spots at Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Webster Hall in NYC, one of them at the age of just 15.
This put me in mind of how important it is to attract and train the next generation, something Ensono already does with our internships, and more importantly with our drive to attract ‘Millennial Mainframers’. In the same way a 15-year-old can secure a headline spot at the Ultra Music Festival, young people just starting out in their IT careers can prove themselves suited for taking on mainframe jobs as in-house experts continue to retire. Talent can reveal itself at any level (or age) and it’s vital for businesses to identify talent and nurture it internally.
Technology and its impact on music
Working with young people in a professional studio brought home exactly how much technology has transformed music over the last decade. Today, the increased availability of musical technology means that talented musicians can create music in their bedrooms that overnight can reach the global stage. This goes to show how technology is inherently transformative. For Ensono this transformation has been tied to the rise of cloud computing, and all the possibilities it has opened up for companies everywhere. Only 10 years ago the idea of using a public cloud platform to the degree that is common today would have been unthinkable for most businesses. Yet today Ensono’s role in guiding these companies to the solutions best suited for them has been instrumental in unlocking their potential in the new data driven world. This goes to show how the availability of tools always has the potential to smash the status quo.
Music, business and the feel-good factor
On a fundamental level, playing music for people is about making them feel good, a concept I was acutely aware of the first time I played in front of 300 people. This is something businesses need to incorporate, asking themselves how they can make clients and associates feel good, every day.
I have a strong belief that our success is down to two things: our people and our clients. A big aspect of this is listening to them, understanding precisely what they want and providing it. In the same way that you don’t play Hip-Hop to a crowd expecting House, attempting a one-size-fits-all solution can leave you with a flat and disappointed crowd. Our “Client in the Room” philosophy is a perfect example of this. By keeping clients’ expectations and needs at the forefront of our minds at all times, we are able to isolate exactly what we can do to give them the best possible service. Getting people excited and feeling good about the reason they are coming to work and providing them with purpose are the most important goals for our business. This creates our North Star. Knowing your audience, and playing to their preferences, is key.
Music and technology transcend geographies and generations
Music, like our industry, transcends geography and generations. It creates an interesting and complex connection point for everyone involved, from interns that just turned up last week to the old hands aged 70+ working in the same environment. One thing I learned from DJing and would love to see further adopted by the technology world is a way of thinking that involves both the left and right parts of the brain. DJing is intensely technical and intensely creative at once, but when both of those difficulties are overcome, the melding of those two different thought processes and skills can create something greater than the sum of its parts. This is what we must strive for, not just on an individual basis, but together as a team.
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