Interview: Jeff Park, Seagate

Seagate Technology Australia Pty Limited

Monday, 17 January, 2022


Interview: Jeff Park, Seagate

What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2022?

Mass data is one of the biggest pain points that all organisations will face in 2022 and beyond. Data that is more dynamic and fluid can be employed in multiple environments and offers organisations considerable business value. However, data is more often sprawled across an organisation in endpoints (like IoT devices), the edge and multi-cloud cores and can become stuck between these layers due to technical issues. There is also a significant gap between how much data is created and how much enterprises can afford to store. It’s essential we address the total cost of ownership of data storage and fix these data flows to support public safety video imaging, critical healthcare data transport, smart manufacturing and more.

How can I.T. have a greater impact on organisational efficiency in 2022 and who should lead the charge?

CIOs have become more empowered in recent years as organisations shift their thinking about technology expenditure from viewing it as a cost centre towards considering it as an investment with a strong ROI. It’s a good news story for IT, with an increasing number of deployments in Government showing success, addressing public concerns and challenges more efficiently. Top of that list would be the use of IT to assist with the vaccine rollout — drawing on multiple data sources to drive efficiencies and to connect health records across Medicare and MyGov and into Service NSW.

How can I.T. become more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and privacy conscious in 2022?

It’s incumbent on us all to play our part and to think laterally about how we can contribute. At Seagate for instance, as well as using renewable energy and seeking power savings in our manufacturing processes, we have launched several product recycling initiatives. We call these circularity projects and we’re working collaboratively with Dell, Google, and other supply chain partners to recycle rare earth minerals from magnets. To date, over 2.5 metric tons of scrap magnets have been recycled. We recently also started the recycling of HDD aluminium from the Dell program into our motor base assembly and over 25 metric tons of aluminium has been recycled.

What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators, and the wider industry in 2022?

Top of my list would be improved support for both Australian startups and budding entrepreneurs. Too many are turning internationally for support and mentoring because there aren’t enough foundations or facilities to nurture them. I’d like to see more companies open intern programs that welcome young talent into their workspace. Government should also play a greater role with subsidies, funding and programs, just as they do for apprenticeships.

Next would be improved broadband network infrastructure that addresses our geographical challenges. Today it seems like it will take a miracle to bring it up to speed, yet 20 years ago carrying a handheld device with all your personal medical and financial information, which also allowed you to video call around the world was the stuff of science fiction. Ironically the broadband infrastructure bottlenecks in Australia create more opportunity for companies like Seagate, because on-premises storage is still significant. This is quite the opposite to other regions around the world where cloud-based storage is our primary business.

Jeff joined Seagate in South Korea in 2004 to manage the channel. In 2007, he relocated to Australia, leading Seagate’s Australian channel distribution business, before launching its surveillance and then consumer businesses, which took the company to market leader in ANZ. In 2019 he was appointed Seagate Country Manager ANZ.

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