Business Management

Typical 24: Greg Hanson, CTO, EMEA, Informatica

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…


  Name:  Greg Hanson

  Job title: CTO, EMEA

  Company: Informatica

  Location: UK, Maidenhead

  Years’ experience: 12 years at Informatica

What time do you reach the office each day?

8.30am. I find that I can achieve a great deal before the office gets too busy.

Is your job varied?

My job is very varied! At Informatica we have such a broad spectrum of customers and I oversee a significant range of products so no two days are ever the same. We work with customers from almost every conceivable business vertical and each is looking to resolve their own fascinating challenges - that’s where we come in! To be honest, the diversity of the role is what makes it so very exciting. Last week I was attending Informatica’s 20 year anniversary celebrating all of our innovation over the past 20 years, in the afternoon I was working on a Big Data report illustrating where we are going.  Every day I’m witnessing fresh and exciting innovation.

Is your job creative?

Absolutely. I’m passionate about addressing challenges in different and innovative ways and, of course, in finding creative ways to deploy technology to ensure tangible business benefits for our customers. With new mega trends such as Big Data and the Internet of Things, our imagination is the only thing limiting the technological possibilities. Getting our message across though is key – if there are no practical, revenue generating uses for our ideas then market demand will be low. Within the European marketplace I created and hired our first solution architect specifically to ensure we can ‘put potential to work’. Three years later – and after three years of successful quota achievement – he has been successful in doing this. As a result we now have a team of solution architects across Europe working with our large accounts.

What do you spend the majority of your time doing?

Listening. You have to be a good listener in a role such as mine. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and work together to agree what’s really going to make the critical difference for them. I’ve always believed that by listening to my colleagues, I’ve been able to learn more and to ensure we’re all working in a truly collaborative environment.

Do you personalise your desk?

I have a minimalistic approach. There are a just a couple of photographs of my family and that’s about it. I prefer to spend my time in other peoples’ offices talking and doing research.

Would you describe yourself as creative?

Yes. I put aside time for creativity in every initiative I work on. The creative element is probably my favourite part of any project.

Do you have any quirky daily rituals?

Not especially but I do have two small children so, as any parent knows, any time that was once reserved for “quirky rituals” is now reserved for them.

Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

I prefer a balance. I like working with a team as I believe multiple brains are better than one. A collaborative approach significantly aids creativity, validates work and maximises time efficiency. Once I have a plan created however, I do like to focus on it and work undisturbed.

How many hours on average do you work a day?

Probably about 9

Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?

I try to balance my week between answering emails and calls and actually sitting down and working. If you are always on email, taking calls or in meetings, when do you get the time to get anything done?

Do you use social media much for work?

That depends on the definition of social media! I use a number of tools to chat with colleagues such as Salesforce Chatter and Cisco Webex. In terms of more recognised social media channels, I primarily use Twitter to keep in contact with my friends, although I have set myself a personal objective to communicate more via Twitter in a commercial sense.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love that great moment when your team closes out a significant deal. It’s really satisfying and inspires everyone who’s been involved. As mentioned previously, I also love the creative side of my work. It keeps me on my toes!

What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?

I don’t listen to music at work but I do love to listen to music when I’m at home. I suppose I have rather eclectic taste; Mozart one day and Rihanna the next. I just like what I like.

What do you do for lunch?

I always make sure I have a proper, healthy breakfast but have to admit that I’m not quite as structured when it comes to lunch which I frequently miss altogether.

Do you socialise with work colleagues?

Absolutely, yes. During the week I enjoy playing football with some of my colleagues or having dinner with those who are visiting from elsewhere or working late. I enjoy socialising with colleagues and think it helps to foster a good working environment.

Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?

I don’t enjoy repetitive tasks. In a previous job I had to refresh a Business Intelligence layer on a daily basis - it was so monotonous and would really frustrate me. I prefer to be able to focus on what initiative we are working on next. I like to look to the future and challenge myself rather than maintaining the status quo.

What is your last task of your day?

The last thing I do before I leave the office is call my family to tell them I’m on my way home.

How do you like to relax after work?

I either watch or play sport. I mentioned earlier I like to play football with my colleagues but I’m also a keen guitar player and I have a few that I like to play in the evenings.

Do you keep checking email through the evening?

Generally I always have my iPhone and iPad with me and I am guilty of checking emails. I find it difficult not to. We are a global company so I have colleagues who work in different time zones making it somewhat essential.

Do you take work projects home with you?

All the time!

What would you say to your 20-year old self?

Don’t waste a day and take the chances that present themselves.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?

I would try out as a footballer…obviously I would fail, but it would be great to be with a football team – even for just one day.

What device did you use to answer these questions?


Do you use your own personal device for work?

I use my iPad all the time when I’m travelling.



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