Leaders and followers in technology innovation
Coming from a financial background, Keyrus's Malcolm Stewart is now enjoying a new lease on life by applying knowledge he gained in diverse international environments to the technology field.
Currently serving as business development manager at Keyrus, Malcolm Stewart's key focus is to identify new business opportunities for the Magic Orange platform, a cost transparency solution designed to unlock optimisation opportunities for clients.
Explaining what he does, Stewart states his role is to support clients' bottom-line growth, both in SA and on a global basis. This is a big challenge, he adds, one that involves a detailed understanding of the clients' specific needs and the diverse environments in which these clients operate.
"It may be tough, but it is also a very interesting job, since, in my opinion, Magic Orange is a product that virtually every organisation can benefit from and therefore should be using. At the same time, though, it is complex enough that getting clients to understand its benefits can be challenging," he says.
"Magic Orange is designed to promote cost transparency by creating visibility and understanding around the costs of an organisation's shared services portfolio. This enables the business to make informed strategic and tactical decisions concerning its investments. It differentiates itself in several ways, notably by being extremely price disruptive, thanks to a tiered software licensing approach that is scaled to the size of the specific business."
In addition, continues Stewart, Magic Orange utilises a unique, patented algorithm that solves cost consumption by providing a clear and in-depth pricing model for products and services that are consumed by the enterprise's various business units.
Having previously worked in Chicago for Deloitte, as well as in both London and Hong Kong for ABN-AMRO, it is clear that Stewart brings diverse experience to his role.
"Diversity, of course, is not unique to South Africa. In my experience, it doesn't matter where you are employed, a major key to success lies in learning to work with a wide variety of people and cultures, and understanding their differences in order to help them achieve their goals," he says.
"This understanding of diversity was one of the key things I brought back from my travels, along with the urge to try something new. Although a CA by profession, I joined a local technology company, which was my first experience of working outside the financial services sector. Despite my initial concerns, I found it really interesting, having been employed to create a cloud-based BI reporting system."
Stewart later did a stint of part-time consulting, during which time he was hired by Keyrus and given the mandate to get a minimum viable product ready for market.
"This exciting product was Magic Orange, which I believe is a great tool, one that can deliver value to an enterprise within weeks, rather than the usual months or even years that such cost transparency solutions may take."
From the perspective of the CIO, he adds, the solution is particularly beneficial, not only because it is offered as a service, meaning there is no requirement from the customer's side to implement any infrastructure, but also because of the granularity it offers.
"The ability to really drill down into relevant information means you can determine the true cost drivers within the business, and ensures you identify exactly which levers to pull in order to influence cost savings. Most critically, it enables the key business stakeholders to defend their budgets more easily, thanks to the transparency and clarity it provides."
Stewart says despite his financial background, he finds it exciting to be involved in offering a revolutionary technology to smart business leaders.
"In fact, since joining Keyrus, I have enjoyed my continuing exposure to technology so much that if I was able to offer my younger self some words of advice, the first thing I would tell them would be to embrace technology, as in today's world, harnessing technology advances distinguishes the leaders from the rest," he concludes.