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Doing business with John Donovan of ForgeRock: How not to make ‘safe’ decisions

Doing business with John Donovan of ForgeRock: How not to make ‘safe’ decisions

‘Digital transformation gives companies the opportunity to investigate the art of the possible’

John Donovan of ForgeRock once worked for free fixing computers at a computer retailer.
John Donovan of ForgeRock once worked for free fixing computers at a computer retailer.


Name: John Donovan

Title: Regional vice president for Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN, ForgeRock

Twitter handle: @JohnRDonovan

How long have you been in your current role? Four months.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on? Identity and digital transformation.

What are your interests away from work? Cycling, running, cooking and music.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? From a management perspective - remaining firm, fair and friendly to all staff. Personally, don’t sweat on small things - keep the big issues in focus.

Professionally, who do you admire most? Anyone that has been successful that people still respect and admire, that are able to contribute back to wider community issues.

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into IT? Thirty three years. It stemmed from an interest at school in coding and hardware that led to a night time job fixing computers for free at a local computer retailer.

Read more: ​The technology puzzle

Too many organisations make a verbal commitment to diversity and fail to follow through. It’s too easy to make ‘safe’ decisions and hire people in your own image.

John Donovan, ForgeRock


If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing? I’d love to be in a position where financially I could spend time doing social and environmental work. Plus, work on an arts degree…

Can you share a key pointer for fostering an innovative culture in the organisation? Absolutely - start with a diverse team. Too many organisations make a verbal commitment to diversity and fail to follow through. It’s too easy to make ‘safe’ decisions and hire people in your own image.

Can you share a key pointer for building a diverse team? Look for people that add to the mix - youth, age, male, female, indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds. A diverse team more accurately represents real society, and therefore your own customer base in most cases.

Read more: ​Digital transformation isn’t just about employing a CDO

What is a good mindset to take as a company embarks on digital transformation?

Digital transformation gives companies the opportunity to investigate the art of the possible. The mindset should be, ‘how can I deepen my digital relationship with customers?’

If I know them and trust them digitally, how can we enhance the relationship to provide deeper access to more services and benefits? How can we include trusted relationships with customers' digital assets as well as their trusted relationships with other entities? The possibilities are boundless and gives organisations the chance to enhance, build, differentiate and grow.


Read more: Top 10 tech trends NZ CIOs need to prepare for in 2016-2017: IDC

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Tags decision makingdiversityrisk managementForgeRockjohn donovandigital transformationdisruptionCIO

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