Bob Larrivee is a well recognised expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement to solve business problems and enhance business operations. He was one among the 150+ Cloud Thought Leader that cloud enthusiasts must follow in the year of 2021. During his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks. He is a constant contributor to Document Strategy. He has also served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.
Let’s get to know him a little more today!
1. What was your first job?
I started working in a bank as a combination mailroom clerk and, while they did not call me this, a records manager. I captured checks, etc. to microfilm, cataloged the films, and kept them in a vault.
2. How will you describe your journey to become a successful professional in Cloud Computing?
It actually began in the late 1980s when I worked for Wang in a think tank group looking at applying the technologies of the day, to resolve business problems. We took the Wang laptop, dialed in to and took control of a PC in the office, then accessed information on the minicomputer and mainframes remotely. This was cloud in a sense, and it opened my eyes to the potential and possibilities ahead.
3. When did you actually realize your true love for Cloud Computing?
I think it began with the experiences I had at Wang, and was enhanced when I worked for a company in logistics where they developed remote capture capabilities for trucking companies to improve their cash flow through remote capture.
4. Walk us through your journey of first ever certification in the field of cloud computing? How did you make that decision?
It is my belief that what we know, is merely the tip of what is out there and in order to advance, we must continuously seek educational opportunities that will increase our knowledge, skills, and improve our chances for advancement. This is what drives me to seek certifications.
5. Globally recognized cloud thought leadership comes with lots of responsibility. What is your advice for your followers?
Learn as much as you can from every source available. Listen to the thought leaders with a mindset that you and your situation are unique and what you hear and learn, is applicable, but likely not verbatim.
6. Everyone now knows that cloud computing is the future. What do you think?
I agree that cloud is the future, though there are still those who feel it is a security risk. Cloud computing continues to offer the most flexible, accessible, and scalable options for business. Regarding security, it is up to the companies using cloud to develop a security strategy, work with their cloud suppliers, teach employees, and manage it all properly.
Bob Larrivee favourite quote is “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. – Cherokee”
7. It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together. What was your passion while growing up? Is your career connected to it?
My passion is technology, looking at what it is intended to do, and finding ways to extend it to other uses. In my case, the answer is yes, my career definitely connected to this passion and continues today.
8. Anyone who follows you would love to become you (or better than you) at some point, and many of them will be confused on how to start or where to start. Can you share some of the obstacles you have faced at the beginning and the ways you have overcome those?
This gets back to education. I overcame obstacles by learning about the issues, training in that area myself, and then discussing it intelligently with those who can make it happen.
For example, I once had a web master tell me that what I wanted to do was not possible. I took a web developer boot camp, learned how to program in HTML, developed what I wanted to do at work, and handed it to the web master. Turned out the issue was with our service provider not being able to support what we wanted and not that is was technically impossible. This also gave me greater insight into what it took to develop a website.
9. A good leader is someone who never stops learning and always willing to un-learn anything if needed. What are your valuable learnings and un-learnings during your journey to a thought leader?
Learning is easy when you find the educational offering you need. This just takes a desire and drive to do it. It is the unlearning that is more difficult and requires a very open mind. This requires you to know and accept that somewhere out there, there is someone with ideas and approaches better suited to a situation than yours. As humans, this may the most difficult of all as we have to admit and accept our shortcomings. The best leaders are those who have reached this level.
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10. In your words, tell us the leadership skills that everyone should learn?
Humility. Know that you are a leader, but also know it takes a team around you to get to this point. As a leader, you set the examples, tones and directions for the organization and it is those who work for and with you that help reach the goals. Take time to appreciate them, and give credit when credit is due.
11. What is that one thing which motivates you to become better and better every day?
Knowing I am Blessed to have been given the opportunities to work with others who were willing serve as mentors, making me better as a person, and what I do.
12. Other than personal learning, what are you currently learning in the technical field? Any new field of interest?
I find the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and evolving forms of autonomous automation extremely interesting. I think the decade ahead is full of evolutionary and revolutionary technology that will slingshot our civilization and society into a whole new era. One that increase our dependence upon cloud and secure communications.
13. If we dare to ask, how would you rate the following cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba cloud.
I believe that each of these have a place and should be looked at not just independently, but also as coexistent solutions to business problems. It should be of little surprise that many businesses incorporate multiple solutions across an enterprise, and in the case of these you present, the same is true. Is one better than the next? That would depend upon the business requirements, problem to solve, and functionality needed to address it.
14. You are already a cloud thought leader, which is an aim many are having right now. What is your next goal?
As I approach retirement, I have concluded I will never fully retire and so, I will turn my focus toward the future of autonomous automation which includes the use of software as in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), robotics, and driverless vehicles. All the while, keeping an eye on cloud as the future is increasingly dependent upon it.
Thank you so much, Bob, for your valuable time! Keep inspiring the new generation!
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