Stefano, how would you summarize your career?
I graduated in information technology: I studied web technologies and programming languages. After my studies, I started working in a big Enterprise Database company as an intern, moving to business integration and business intelligence consultancy right afterwards. I can say I’m a technologist who keeps an eye on how customers do their business.
Which were the main focuses of your business?
Software engineering, system security, marketing statistics for customer profiling, internal communication tools - these are the things I’ve been involved in, during the last years.
We developed an actuarial application that calculates the car insurance premium based on prospect information - providing an amount that could be ideal for both the company and the potential customer. We also conducted extensive research on telecommunication technology, aimed at optimising broadband and broadcast quality.
I’ve dealt with IT projects for a wide variety of industry leaders, including banks and financial firms.
Tell us more about your banking and finance projects.
We developed a risk management tool that simulates future market scenarios to guide new investments. Using Big Data, we were able to handle parameters and transactions by the millions, with unprecedented precision and speed.
Thanks to Big Data and cloud services we can now deliver highly advanced IT solutions for banking and finance. Of course, this raises new security concerns and leads to stricter protocols. Therefore, we constantly keep our team up-to-date on privacy issues and data protection.
Which are the pros and cons of your job?
The best part is getting to know how things work in so many different industries. As an IT consultant, my experience is more diversified than, just as an example, that of a sales manager.
On the negative side, I see an ongoing shift from proper consultancy to body shopping.
In old-style outsourcing, companies entrusted their projects to consultants they relied on. Body shopping is more like renting people by the hour: office presence is valued more than personal expertise.
Is this trend affecting salaries too?
As far as I can see, it is. Today, consultants earn an average 30% less than 20 years ago. As an example, 5 years of experience in this field, used to grant you a paycheck of 2.000/2.500 euros per month; while nowadays, you can expect to earn even 1.600/1.700.
What are the main skills for this job?
You need a flexible mind to manage stress and solve problems - together with a good set of soft skills (interpersonal abilities, critical thinking, etc.), which are valued more than technical proficiency. Our job is based on teamwork, empathy, and customer relationships. We need solid groups: not some isolated, individual excellence.
What makes the difference is spotting business opportunities. You need to understand what the emerging demands are and meet them before everyone else.