Talent Talk with Don Cundy

Welcome back to Talent Talk. Today we are joined by DXC’s Managing Partner of System Partners, Don Cundy, who talks us through his experience implementing IT systems, delivering global programs of work, and creating a stimulating and supportive work culture. Let’s get into things.

Q1: You’ve had over 20 years’ experience designing and implementing IT systems across multiple industries. Tell us a bit about how things have changed in that time.

I’ve been so fortunate to be involved in all aspects of IT for some of the world’s largest organisations. That unique experience exposed me to all areas of IT where I have been able to understand and learn the importance and contribution of all IT roles from business analysts managing client requirements to solution engineers designing systems, developers and vendors implementing solutions, right through to quality assurance and project managers applying the governance framework. This is to ensure we deliver the solution on time, under budget and with all the required features. Over the last 10 years, there has been an emergence of Software as a Service applications coming onto the cloud and this provides a richer global marketplace of applications, ideas and solutions. I’ve enjoyed every moment of learning new skills, new technology and new clients and successfully delivering programs of work in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. 

Q2: What led you to specialising in Salesforce?

After 20 years in IT, mainly Financial Services and 4 years in the NSW Government, I reflected on the projects that had given me the most personal satisfaction and that was Salesforce. The market changed 10 years ago with the cloud enabled world of SaaS applications taking over from bespoke custom in-house solutions. Salesforce not only led the market in terms of innovation but also their culture of “aloha” with thought provoking collaboration creating a stimulating environment of smart people looking to achieve great outcomes for customers. Every day in the Salesforce “eco-system” is a mix of great people with great ideas looking to deliver great outcomes. This has created an IT industry in itself with top IT talent leveraging the Salesforce platform, a highly flexible and extendible metadata platform which is no longer a Sales CRM but customer transformational platform. I also really enjoy seeing the satisfaction of our customers when you showcase or deliver a Salesforce solution or our team’s satisfaction learning new Salesforce skills.

Q3: What does a typical day look like for you in your current role?

Packed and stimulating. I’m fortunate to be involved with strategic clients, understanding their business challenges and driving solutions or investment roadmaps that meet their needs to developing go-to-market plans and approaches with Salesforce for new product development including Salesforce Service Cloud Voice a telephony integration solution in conjunction with Amazon. This also includes building high performing teams whether onshore or offshore and stimulating Salesforce talent to develop long term careers, or encouraging strong IT professionals to reskill and enjoy the world’s fastest growing technology platform. I enjoy building effective long-term relationships with clients, building high performing teams and overseeing the delivery of client outcomes.

Q4: What’s the biggest challenge facing your industry OR the biggest trend we should be watching out for in your space?

Building enough top talent. Salesforce has been around for 20 years and continues to enjoy year on year growth. This has created an industry that constantly evolves, innovates and inspires. We need to develop and retain our top talent but also attract and develop new entrants into the eco-system.  This includes graduates, military vets and other IT skillsets and disciplines that have transferrable skills who would be a great fit for the eco and will enjoy stimulating careers with the right partner.  It’s really important in an ever-changing marketplace to stay current and adapt. Who would have known the impact of Covid-19 a year ago? We are now building Salesforce solutions to manage venue registrations, contact tracing, interstate permits and vaccinations for all Australians.

Q5: What’s the most valuable leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Humility. I remember working at Perpetual, a wonderful organisation and culture. I learned every team member’s name as I wanted to create an environment where the team enjoyed coming into work and felt stimulated and supported. I remember one individual, Ervin, being shocked that I knew his name. Ervin was an amazing individual who always gave his very best and was willing to help. I haven’t forgotten that moment or Ervin and the importance of valuing every member of the team.

Read more stories of leadership in tech in our latest publication, Human 2: Bold leadership through crisis and change. Check it out here.