Doing business with Rob Hillard

Doing business with Rob Hillard

The Deloitte national leader of technology consulting studied physics but was drawn back to IT.

Robert HillardPartner and national leader of technology consulting


Age: 43

Where were you educated? University of Melbourne

Where do you live? Eastern suburbs, Melbourne

What are your interests away from work? I have two kids, six and four years old, and I love being able to help them understand the world around them. I am passionate about exploring and writing about emerging technology trends. I contribute to the professional body of knowledge through initiatives such as MIKE2.0 (an open source delivery framework for enterprise information management) where I also sit on the governance board.

What are you reading at the moment? There is always a stack of books beside my bed, currently including Ken Follett's World Without End and James Gleick's The Information. On my iPad, I'm enjoying Chris Potts' recrEAtion, an innovative approach to explaining Enterprise Architecture.

What is your favourite movie? Why? 2001: A Space Odyssey and the original three instalments of Star Wars. Apart from being a lot of fun, these movies show technology as a normal part of life.

What is the most memorable place you've been to? Why? Backpacking through Europe in my 20s. A time for adventure and personal growth while missing all that I had left behind in Australia, which ended on a positive note because I came home and married her!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? "Do what you love and you never work a day in your life." Life should be an exploration and you can't do that unless you are passionate about your subject matter.

Professionally, who do you admire most? Philippe Khan and Clive Sinclair. Both challenged the status quo. Khan by taking software development to the masses and having the vision to build software that makes today's cloud computing possible. Sinclair for deciding microcomputers should be affordable by the general public.

How long have you been working in IT? About 30 years ago, when I was 13, I spotted an unused computer in a local furniture retailer and convinced them to hire me to automate their business. I sold that software through the region and went on to be a director of a small software company in my early 20s.

If you weren't working in IT, What would you be doing? I studied physics with plans to do research, but was drawn back to IT by the excitement of an industry that was (and still is) in its infancy.

What was your first job? A paper round.

What's the best thing about working with IT executives? We're all in this adventure of a new industry together.

What is the worst? Sometimes IT executives are afraid to explain the complexity of what we do to their stakeholders – feeling that it is their responsibility to package projects into a neat scope, time and budget. I think this means they lose the opportunity to find new business opportunities in that complexity.

What is your favourite networking situation? Networking happens everywhere, at the airport, in a taxi, in the street or at an organised function.

What will you do when you retire? I enjoy what I do too much to think that I'll want a "sea change" or to learn how to play golf! MIS Australia

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