Have you ever wondered how technology advisers solve problems? Kavita Mathew is a Solutions Architect at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and it’s her job to help clients reach their goals. Here, as Kavita recounts a typical day in the office, she talks about how using technology to solve business problems can be a fulfilling experience.
I travel to work on the office bus. It takes me a little over an hour, but I prefer it to driving as it gives me the time to catch up on reading or my daily podcasts, or just enjoy the view outside the window, watching the city settle into a busy day.
It was on one of these long rides to work that a woman seated in an adjacent public bus caught my attention. She was hearing-impaired and she was using the video call on her phone to talk to a friend. It is a great feeling to see and experience how technology can change people’s lives.
That is exactly why I love my work; I get to apply the power of technology to solve real world problems.
The evolution of the possible
I am a computer engineer, and I’ve been working in the software industry for 20 years now. I started my career programming solutions in e-commerce applications. My work moved along as the technology evolved and today, I specialize in the architecture and design of solutions that employ technologies like Internet of Things and AI.
As a solutions architect, my work is at an intersection of understanding user needs, what is technologically possible, and how, together, that can drive the success of the business.
Staying abreast of the everything new in technology is key to my work. Having said that, one of the lessons I learnt early on in my career is not to use technology just because it is new and available.
It was many years ago when mobile technology was just catching on, and every bank wanted to be the first to launch its own mobile banking app. I was one of the solution architects involved in the program. While we were successful in getting the technology right, we ended up with a bad user experience, simply because we failed to differentiate between the needs and behaviour of a mobile user. We subsequently corrected this in the next iteration.
With disruption comes new challenges
With technology lowering the entry barriers and regulatory policies becoming conducive to new players entering the market, traditional businesses are facing existential threats. The utilities industry, which is the industry that I currently work in, is no exception. Today, the focus on decarbonisation, distributed generation, and smart grids means that new players with innovative business models are emerging in the marketplace.
Being aware of these disruptive forces and helping business to transform and stay ahead of the curve is an important function of my role as solutions architect. Having worked across industries, I have a better appreciation for the impact of these disruptive forces and the opportunities they present.
Staying ahead of the game
My work requires me to engage with other groups within TCS. I learn from the experience of my peers – there is so much value in sharing and collaborating. As a team, we work together to propose solutions for client’s business problems. It is very fulfilling to see our solutions translate into tangible benefits for our clients.
My job keeps me very busy and I really enjoy it, but everyone needs to switch off too. I like spending time outdoors and I like sport. I started playing tennis about a year ago and I find trying out a new sport very relaxing. I can forget about work for a while, and I’m learning new skills at the same time.
I try to take breaks with my family as often as I can and we go trekking or on road trips. As much as I would like to stay away from the topic of technology when I am at home, I end up in lively debates with my 14-year-old son, who never stops surprising me with something new from the world of technology!