An interview with Avanade alum Kevin Dana
- Posted on May 4, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
We’re catching up with Kevin Dana, who worked in the Avanade IT organization from 2010 to 2013. Now the VP of Information Technology & Security at World Wide Technology (WWT) in St. Louis, Kevin still uses what he learned at Avanade in his career.
Avanade News: What was your role at Avanade?
Kevin: My main responsibility within Avanade IT was for our internal Enterprise Applications. To support Avanade's rapid growth, our team focused on meeting business needs through software solutions. Some key solutions we delivered during my time there were a refreshed Avanade.com external site, the corporate portal and enhanced CRM capabilities to support effective selling and delivery.
Avanade News: What did you love most about working here?
Kevin: The culture of Avanade was one of optimism and energy. Its people exuded a collaborative, can-do attitude that made solving problems fun. My most memorable Avanade moment was an offsite training session for VPs hosted by the executive team. Executive leadership at a company taking the time to share their expectations and experience with a cross section of VP-level leadership is uncommon, but Avanade made that type of investment a priority. The relationships forged across the participants made the company “smaller” and more collaborative.
Avanade News: What came after Avanade?
Kevin: First, I served within Deloitte’s global IT organization, including three years as their Chief Technology Officer. Now, I lead the teams responsible for providing internal technology services for WWT. We provide the technology services spanning core datacenter, network and information security to the business applications that support our sales, services, and supply chain business functions. WWT is currently undergoing a digital transformation focused on scaling our rapidly growing business. To achieve this in a successful and sustainable way, we are incorporating business-outcomes oriented enterprise architecture as a joint effort between business and technology teams. Starting with the strategic business plan, we have oriented these teams to incrementally define and deliver capabilities that scale, making WWT more nimble in an ever evolving environment. That’s something I learned at Avanade: It’s not the size of the team or the breadth of the resources, but how we align as a team with expertise that enables us to achieve a goal.
Avanade News: What are you most proud of in your career?
Kevin: Rather than a specific, single defining moment, I've had several (re)defining moments. Those instances in your career that take you outside your comfort zone of what or who you know and force you to build up a new body of knowledge, form a trusting team and plan to solve some large, undefined problem. The first time that happened was not of my choosing, but it taught me that there is greater opportunity and reward compared to staying in a comfortable or familiar place. After the first, it became a little easier to embrace the uncertainty and dive in. Throughout my career, I've worked with a number of wonderful and talented people and treasure the shared accomplishments on the journey.
Avanade News: What advice to you give to people just starting out in their careers?
Kevin: Challenge yourself to apply a disciplined approach to your career. Recognize that there are times where you may be passionate about a specific role and times where an urgent, critical project requires you to do something that you don't enjoy but can do well. Each of these experiences shape the future “you.” Embrace each one of them as the waypoints of your career journey. Learn from them – what you liked, how you performed. Then be purposeful about how you challenge yourself to take what you've learned and apply it to new opportunities.