Name: Ian Firth
Job Title: Chief Product Officer
Tell us about iKVA?
iKVA is an innovative company breaking the mould around the way people use information. Providing new ways to ensure that data is discovered, insights are gained and then used. iKVA provides products that can be integrated into workflows, pushing data to people, supporting them where and when they need it and delivering information that might not have even been known to exist. Data can be consumed and located without the overheads you would currently associate with building and maintaining managed repositories of data, across all the data in an organisation and outside of it, breaking down silos that are caused by the information being stored across many tools and teams.
What is the challenge facing businesses that you want to solve?
Businesses have huge amounts of data that is not working as hard as it should be for them, it’s either lost in a sea of other information and not being used across the organisation or it’s not being used to deliver value. Using data to support tasks involves making sure it is found and actionable, too often data is write-only and that has no value, being able to use the data properly and proactively ensures that people can spend more time performing the work they are trying to do and not spending time repeating work already done or chasing people for information needed. This enables a more productive and engaging environment to not only allow people to be more productive but be more engaged and collaborative across organisations.
Tell us about your background?
I’ve been fascinated by engineering and computing since I can remember. I have enjoyed working in many roles within the software industry more recently at Citrix and Speechmatics, including software engineering, team management, software architecture in very varied environments. Over time I’ve become more and more interested in the way software was being applied to solve real problems which resulted in a move into the product management world where the satisfaction of helping customers achieve their goals provides the buzz that motivates and drives me.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Helping customers with challenges, learning about the problems, and seeing products that I have been part of defining deliver real world value. Working with the customers to develop, grow and refine solutions that continue to evolve in ways that might never have been considered before. Engaging with a diverse set of people, skills and technology, working together and seeing people enjoy what they do.
Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I have been playing brass instruments since I was 7 years old, playing in brass bands and I have been conducting a community band for the last 7 years, helping to support and introduce music in the community across all ages and skill levels and promoting the fun that can be had being involved in playing and learning in a group.
Where can we find you when you’re not working?
In the garden, riding round on the ride on lawn mower or playing a trombone in a band somewhere.