Each month we recognise a K2 consultant who has received outstanding client feedback on their recent project.
This month the K2 Consultant of the Month is Raymond Wu, an IT Architect from Japan.
Read our interview with Raymond below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am an enterprise architect with around 20 years experience in data, cloud and business process solutions. I specialize in Oracle and IBM technologies and have exposure to Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce and AWS.
I started working with K2 Japan in 2015 and have been engaged in a few projects around data migration, ETL, SAP, Salesforce and Cloud. I cover both strategic analysis and technical implementation, helping customers benchmark the solutions, by providing POC and prototyping and preparing recommendations.
What was your most recent K2 project?
My most recent K2 project was with an intergovernmental organization of North Pacific based in Japan. My role on the project was to support vendor selection, to guide enterprise architecture, and predict potential issues. The customer was intending to launch a Database System for Vessel management system, and technologies used were AWS, Drupal, MySQL, Postgres, Linux, Staging/ETL/DW/BI/DM.
The challenges faced were that the organization consisted of many experts and scholars in particular fields but not in IT. They had difficulty finding a consultant suited to cover all their requirements including enterprise vision and technical expertise. When I joined the project, I applied architecture principles (simplification, scalability, reusability, traceability and integrity) to support vendor selection, and to drive architecture decision. Consequently, most of the key business contexts were clearly translated, architecture framework and road-map were built, and the logic was effectively implemented into data flow. Many redundancies were removed, complexities were optimized and potential issues were predicted.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Some of the things I most enjoy about my job are:
When clients tell me that I have done an excellent job, and for looking at their eye contact, I see lots of appreciation and satisfaction. I am also interested in the details surrounding a project for example: metric analysis and insights and raise alternative mitigation from clients’ concerns. So once I go through the whole strategic analysis with the clients, they may already get a clear picture and see half of their heavy load was unloaded as solution is ready. This can be the first milestone.
But this may not be sufficient for technical people, as they want to see how the solution can be realized. So I may need to keep momentum and prepare a POC and technical innovation to achieve the second milestone. I need to be cautious in this step as a minor concern in technical side may turn down the whole solution. Once I see both steps are streamlined and solutions are released, I am pleased to share this with the client.
Which technical development do you think will have the biggest impact on your field over the next few years?
As I am an open system data architecture SME and industry enterprise architect, I can see cloud being a part of a traditional Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) into big data, but it may stay as is instead of being replaced. The global mainstream may embrace new technologies in the next decade that we seldom hear of but the major stream of technologies we are using now will not be going away anytime soon.
My opinion about the impact of global trends covers 3 areas that I like to share with my fellow IT consultants:
1. Keep an eye on trend analysts such as the Gartner group, for any global trend updates.
2. Focus on your area of expertise particularly the main tech changes in your industry.
3. Maintain your soft skills and professional learning as these will stay with you and continue to develop and help you in your consulting career.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out as a freelance IT consultant?
The advice I would give to a freelancer IT consultant starting out is:
Uniqueness – a consultant will either expand their expertise across industries and technologies or become an expert in particular area to be SME. Making your profile unique will differentiate you from competitors and keep you front of mind for the client.
Art – consulting can sometimes be like an art-form that requires sense and heart. So in addition to a having a unique profile, being perspective will help you sense what is important for your clients e.g time, principle, standard, ROI as well as showing a passion and desire to succeed.
Raymond Wu, IT consultant based in Japan.