Rasheed Adegoke is a technology strategist and business executive with hands-on expertise in the design and delivery of high-performance information technology and business process improvement solutions to address complex business problems. His core competence are in Information Technology, Process Improvement, Systems Integration, e-Business Solution Designs, Strategic Planning, Operations Management, Project and Change Management, and Organizational Restructuring. He has over two decades experience working with successful businesses especially in Financial Services, and Oil and Gas industries. He is currently the Director, Information Technology for UBA Group and was Chief Information Officer at First Bank of Nigeria Limited until July 2013. Rasheed is an industry expert who has also served on a Presidential committee on National Broadband Strategy and the TechLaunchPad initiative of the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.
MCSE Training – Resources (Intense)
You have had a long promising career spanning over 20 years plus in the banking and financial services sector, from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to being CIO of several banks in Nigeria. What was the rationale for making the decision to join United Bank for Africa (UBA) from First Bank of Nigeria (FBN)?
My career choice has always been driven by a continuous quest for major conquest. I have always taken on a Transformational CIO role and felt we had taken First Bank’s IT transformation to a level where most of what was needed is continuous improvement. UBA however presented an opportunity to make a more significant impact.
While in school, you were a Computer Science major at a time in the history of information technology when it was all new, and not many saw the promising future it holds, at least within the Nigerian context. Did you see it coming?
I would say yes. I was lucky to discover computing through some of my Dad’s magazine subscriptions which I always read. I was supposed to study medicine and actually needed the support of my mathematics teacher to convince my Dad to allow me enter for computer science. Even when I was enrolling in University of Ibadan, a number of the lecturers offered to assist me to switch to the college of medicine because I had all-A’s in my GCE and a JAMB score of 307 when the cutoff for Medicine was 280.
What does your role as Group Director of Information Technology entail for the bank?
As Director of IT, I have overall responsibility for UBA IT. What this means is that I am responsible for developing or updating the IT strategy of the bank and most importantly for driving the execution of the strategy to ensure IT enables the bank achieve business success.
What is the best part of your job and what causes you the most frustration?
The best part of being responsible for IT in a bank is that you know you are the heartbeat of the business and therefore you are always alert to the enormity of the responsibility. One of the key frustration is the scarcity of talents in the local market and most of the service providers are also at a low level of maturity when it comes to supporting the needs of large enterprises like banks.
When it comes to meeting the challenges of your part of the IT world, what hard and soft skills are required?
To be successful as a CIO, you need a number of skills including strong business skills, strategic planning, negotiation skills, systems evaluation & selection, relationship management, process and organizational design skills and you need to be strong in communication skills. It is also helpful to be on top of researches on emerging technologies and trends.
What sort of advice would you give a college or university student interested in getting into the IT field after graduating?
The key to having a successful career is passion, so I will always advice upcoming college or university students to pursue their passion in school. As far as one can see, the future remains very bright for an IT career especially if you have strength in building applications or solutions to real world problems.
In your spare time, what sorts of hobbies or special interests do you enjoy?
I unwind by playing table tennis, scrabble and writing short notes on contemporary issues. I also use my spare time to mentor younger professionals and I am currently building up my golf skills and still do a lot of reading.