One of the (many) great things about our contributor community is when someone resumes writing for the site after a hiatus. Dux Raymond Sy picked up his (digital) pen again this year after a seven-year hiatus — and clearly his articles struck a nerve. At a time when companies struggled with questions around the hybrid workplace, the state of their digital tools and looming shortages in digital skills, Dux examined each in turn in his monthly column

A 10 time Microsoft MVP, Dux serves as AvePoint's chief brand officer. He brings over 20 years of experience in the technology and business world to bear on his role at AvePoint and to his columns. He also brings a lot of energy. When's the last time a conference speaker taught you dance moves

'Technology Does Not Matter as Much as People Do'

What excites you about your field today?

The pandemic has made it abundantly clear how essential technology is to connect people, make collaboration possible and enable business continuity. And while this has been true in our personal lives, and for many in corporate America, it will become even more evident as other industries — think: frontline workers, for example — and underserved parts of the world start reaping the benefits of transformative technology.

If people could use only one word to describe you, what word would you want them to use?

Helpful. Ultimately, I measure my success on how I’ve impacted others, in both my personal and professional life. My goal is to be of service in as many ways as I can.

What’s one lesson that we collectively can’t seem to learn?

People tend to think technology is a silver bullet. But technology does not matter as much as people do. At the end of the day, technology is only as smart as the people behind it — and its purpose is to make our lives easier, better, not to disenfranchise others.

What work-related trend will you be watching in the year(s) ahead?

I am eager to see the shift from quantity of time worked to quality of work. If the new era of work has taught us anything it is that flexibility and autonomy can enhance productivity, creativity and even employee mental health. Therefore, the quality of time matters more quantity, resulting in more outcome-based performance.

Learning Opportunities

What’s one work-related trend that surprised you? (could be from any point in your career)

I have been most surprised by how quickly technology has infiltrated businesses and impacted the way we work. For example, the rapid and pervasive spread of cloud technology transformed work and continues to today. Unsurprisingly though, many companies amid the pandemic shifted to the cloud without proper governance and security, presenting an opportunity to better manage digital collaboration.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Always assume positive intent. That means giving people the benefit of the doubt, identifying the situational details and getting the bigger picture. Ultimately, blame the problem and not the people.

If you could make one wish for your industry for 2022, what would it be?

Do not pay lip service to inclusion. In 2022, I hope this industry as a whole embraces inclusion in every aspect. If we can be open to new ideas, and improve how — and who — we engage with, then we will be better off.