We ‘Deep Dive’ with Jad Jebara, CEO, Hyperview, who tells us more about life inside and outside the office.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry?
One of my most memorable achievements in the data centre industry was leading the development of our cloud-based DCIM platform, Hyperview. When evaluating DCIM solutions back in 2011 as a customer, we were frustrated by the limitations of existing products – they had narrow scope, lacked broad hardware support, carried high licensing costs and took far too long to implement.
With Hyperview, we completely reinvented the DCIM model. By designing a cloud-native solution, we provide the full breadth of DCIM capabilities while eliminating the pain points of legacy systems. Customers can get up and running in seconds, support their entire infrastructure and start realising value within hours at a fraction of the cost.
The rapid adoption and feedback we’ve received on Hyperview has been so rewarding. I’m proud that we’ve really moved the needle on DCIM and made it easier for data centres to manage their operations efficiently.
What first made you think of a career in technology/data centres?
My interest in technology started back in 1997, but I vividly recall the moment I decided to pursue a career specifically in data centres. It was December 2006, and I was touring the Harbour Centre building in Vancouver, home to the most connected data centre in Western Canada. As I stepped onto the 21st floor that housed the bustling server room, I was awestruck staring out the window at the stunning mountain and ocean views. It hit me – this is the engine room powering the internet and digital world as we know it. The realisation that this data centre was facilitating communication, commerce and innovation on a global scale was so profound.
In that moment, looking out over the servers that connected people across continents, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I was inspired by the enormity of the industry’s impact and crystallised my desire to dedicate my career to advancing this infrastructure powering our digital world.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
My management philosophy has been strongly shaped by Jim Collins’ classic business book, ‘Good to Great.’ I believe in building a team of disciplined people, thoughts and actions.
First and foremost, I practice Level 5 leadership – focusing on empowering others and pursuing the organisational goals with passion and humility. I strive to model the five exemplary leadership practices outlined in ‘The Leadership Challenge’: clarifying values, inspiring shared vision, challenging processes, enabling action and recognising contributions.
I’m a firm believer that with the right vision, strategy and culture, we can assemble a high-performing team that delivers great results the right way.
What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space?
I would say it’s sustainability. With climate change concerns mounting, there is increasing scrutiny on the environmental impact of data centres given their massive energy consumption. Concepts like Power Capacity Effectiveness (PCE) have become top of mind. Many operators are pursuing renewable energy sources and innovative cooling methods to reduce their carbon footprint. Plus, sustainability is becoming a competitive differentiator – customers want assurances that their cloud and colocation providers are environmentally responsible.
So, while Edge Computing, IoT, cybersecurity and other trends certainly get a lot of attention, I believe sustainability and energy efficiency are the most urgent talking points right now in the sector. Given rising energy demands and costs, it’s crucial that we innovate to make our facilities as green as possible. The industry’s license to grow depends on how successfully we can become environmental stewards.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
With the fast-paced demands of the tech industry, I’ve learned some key strategies for dealing with stress and staying balanced:
- I start by getting centred through mindfulness techniques like meditation or going for a walk in nature. This helps calm my mind.
- Physical activity is huge for me. I unwind by snowboarding, cycling, or getting in a good workout at the gym.
- Nothing beats spending quality time with my family. Seeing my children grow and thrive brings me so much joy and perspective.
- I prioritise learning, whether it’s reading a good book or listening to an inspiring podcast. Keeping my mind active on other topics takes it off work.
- Limiting news intake is important. The 24/7 media cycle can get overwhelming.
- I try to get adequate sleep each night to let my mind and body recharge.
The tech industry will always be demanding, but by proactively managing stress, I can show up at my best each day, both at work and at home. Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s essential.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
In my view, the major areas of investment in the data centre industry right now are sustainability, Edge infrastructure and talent development. Sustainability is commanding huge investment as operators work to meet emissions reductions goals and improve energy efficiency. Edge data centres are requiring massive capital outlays as content and applications migrate closer to users. Localised micro data centres at cell towers, retail spaces etc., will be critical. Huge investment is going into this distributed infrastructure. Finally, talent development can’t be overlooked. We need to invest in training programmes, partnerships with colleges/vocational schools and promoting our industry to build the workforce of the future. Rethinking job roles and using technology to assist where possible is key.
What are the region-specific challenges you encounter in your role?
In navigating the unique challenges specific to each region in my role, I draw inspiration from the lessons of history and the trailblazing efforts of tech pioneers. I firmly believe that limits and challenges are not roadblocks but rather opportunities to be conquered. In facing these region-specific challenges, I always choose the path of determination over limitations and excuses. Embracing a mindset of relentlessness in both strategy and execution allows me to confront and overcome obstacles with resilience.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the coming months?
Over the past year, I’ve seen my role evolve from being heavily operations-focused to taking on more strategic initiatives around sustainability and industry collaboration.
With our company’s commitments to drastically reduce emissions, I’ve become a key evangelist for our sustainability programmes both internally and externally. I now play a bigger part in driving industry standards forward and fostering collaboration across the ecosystem. I actively participate in organisations like iMasons, the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact and the Open Compute Project.
It’s exciting to see my role become more future-facing and targeted on moving our industry forward collectively. While I remain dedicated to operational excellence, I welcome the opportunity to tackle higher-level challenges related to sustainability and propelling data centre innovation into its next chapter.Click below to share this article