Brian Roddy is Jive's senior vice president of engineering. He drives the development of our portfolio of products, oversees our hosted operations and is the expert force behind keeping Jive's customer data safe. We know Brian gets security (check out this Wall Street Journal article he was recently quoted in), but we wanted to find out what really makes him tick.
1. You live and breathe technology for a living. What is it about technology that inspires you most?
I get inspired by technology when it makes peoples' lives better. When it automates away the mundane and the dangerous, or when it wipes away peoples' day-to-day ills. I'm excited technology enables people to focus on learning, being creative and having fun. At the same time, I get frustrated when technology is used for the opposite. Technology can have an escapist, addictive quality that can be abused to the point of not living one's life. And the same technology that provides the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips has also enabled a massive assault to privacy.
2. What's your favorite thing about working in social business right now?
I view social business as one of those cases where technology is doing good. It helps to democratize the work force, giving people voice in a wider range of discussions and lets people be known for the strength of their ideas. It also gives great tools for leaders to understand what's really going on in their organizations and help guide it.
Our customers have reported an average 15% improvement in productivity and a 10% improvement in employee retention and satisfaction. That gets me excited. Jive is one of those rare products that is both enlivening and helps you get more done.
3. We are all pretty dependent on technology for both our personal and work lives. What's the one piece of technology you absolutely cannot live without?
Well, I can live without pretty much all modern technology. And I try to spend some time every week away from it to keep my brain from turning to a twitchy mess. But I can tell you the technology that has been giving me the most joy lately has been my Sous Vide cooker. Cook a brisket or a pork shoulder for 48 hours in that thing and all you can taste is heaven.
4. What's the best advice you have ever been given?
"Great people hire even greater people." It's cliche to say that "people are your most important asset" at a company, but it's true. And smart people love working with smart people. Hire great and empower your people, and success will largely follow.
5. Let's pretend you have a crystal ball and can see into the future. What does the social business landscape look like in 5 years?
Social business is an interesting space because technology is only half of it. The other half is the cultural evolution at companies to embrace being much more open and collaborative. In five years, I feel that every company will either go through this change or get left behind. Innovation and technology move too fast for traditional top down governance to keep up with on its own. And the current generation of millennials moving into the workforce will demand it.
Technologically, the use of email will be way down and social business software will be the hub for all enterprise systems. It will serve as the user interface for your company and will intelligently guide you to where you can make the most impact. Mobile will continue its complete domination as the form factor of choice but that will be refined further with new form factors. Cloud will be the norm with much richer security, encryption and audit capabilities. Privacy will be more front and center. Feature wise, you'll see a seamless blend of real-time communication, a reinvention of the ways that meetings are done, very targeted recommendation of content and people, and a deeper sense of place.
I'm excited every day when I come to the office because Jive is already working on all of these things.