Michel Hubert is the Chief Technology Officer of Econocom. This company is a digital general contractor which conceives, finances, and facilitates the digital transformation of large firms and public organizations. With 48 years of experience, it is the only market player offering versatile expertise through a combination of project financing, equipment distribution, and digital services.
The group is present in 18 countries, with over 9,000 employees, and generates over €2,559 m in revenue. Econocom is listed on Euronext in Brussels, on the BEL mid and family business indices.
An Insight into the Making of the Successful CTO
A little more than20 years ago, Michel started his career as a Developer (at the time when the Internet did not exist) in a service company. After co-founding a web agency in the early 2000s, he spent a long time in a consulting company as a software architect and then as a solution architect. He specialized in Microsoft technologies. Michel has been the MVP since 2009 and played the role of Microsoft’s Regional Director for 6 years. Currently, Michel is the CTO at Econocom in charge of strategy, offers, and is also the facilitator of technical communities to allow employees to develop their skills on technologies such as cloud, devOps, automation, modern workplace, etc.
According to Michel, A CTO must be passionate about technology with a very business focus. He should understand the business challenges of customers to provide the right technical response. Michel sees the mistakes and bad choices as opportunities to progress. “The journey of a CTO is not a long straight, there are obstacles but also very beautiful encounters with inspiring people.” Michel states.
Empowering Over the Primal Challenges
Michel confessed that there were times in France where the career of a developer was always a dismal failure. But now times have changed and developers are ever-growing. So, the struggle to thrive as a developer was his biggest challenge. Another big challenge that came Michel’s way was to survive in the industry where one has to constantly train, discover new technologies, new languages, and new methods. Passing by all these kinds of hurdles, today Michel stands a strong pillar in the software industry empowering technology.
Attributes that Make a Good CTO
Michel asserts that a CTO must remain a man (or woman) in the field. He must be the right arm of CIOs, as they are constantly under pressure: by end-users, by business, by market.
A good CTO must be profile-focused and must be capable enough to understand the customer issues and translate them into technical solutions. CTO is also a visionary, he deciphers technology to find the right uses, and conversely of use, he must find the technologies that respond to them.
Using Disruptive Technology to Levitate the Operations
Michel believes that cloud computing has completely revolutionized IT. Cloud has become the default and now the challenge lies in how the company can transform its organization. Michel stresses that Econocom needs to move away from traditional operating models to a modern approach. Cloud for infrastructure, automation with devOps, and low code make it possible to innovate faster, to be more agile in a very competitive market. The role of the CTO is to support changes both with customers and with internal teams.
A Transformation from IT to Cloud is in Store for Future
As customers change profoundly, their historical and future providers must inevitably adapt or risk disappearing quickly, overtaken by their competitors. So there has been an absolute emergency for several years.
The software industry must undergo a profound transformation, their own digital transformation. They must apply to themselves what they offer to their customers. The quote below from Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Corp, sums it up well: “Every company is a software company.”
In addition, the topics around decarbonization and the digital footprint on the environment are concerns of our customers. For Econocom, this is already a priority and an integral part of their offers.
Passion Must Steer the Operations of Emerging Leaders
Michel confesses, “The main advice for the emerging leaders will be the passion! Passion for the profession, technology, and quality.” He believes that the leaders must remain craftsmen, even in a world where everything moves very quickly. To succeed in the profession, training is key. The way of training has also evolved with the emergence of MOOCs, e-learning platforms. Now people can learn when they need and when they want. It is also important to work on the professional network, to exchange and share their experiences with their peers. “Finally, the transmission of knowledge to new generations is rewarding. It must make commitments on diversity and inclusion such as highlighting female role models” he adds.