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The past couple of years have been ones to remember for Karin Wiens. As leader of Deloitte Canada’s cloud engineering practice, she’s overseen a huge growth spurt in the organisation’s cloud capabilities and cloud business. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen these capabilities put to the ultimate test—in circumstances where lives were at stake, not to mention the country’s social and economic well-being.
Deloitte Canada has been working with various levels of government across the country, devising and implementing cloud-based platforms for COVID-19 testing, as well as vaccine distribution and immunisation tracking (as have other parts of the Deloitte network around the world).
If you needed a case study demonstrating the power, speed and versatility of the cloud, this was it. “These programmes had to be in place very quickly, from the time that our public-sector clients tendered for these solutions, to when we had to have a solution built and available,” Karin says. ”To deliver these time-sensitive programmes, it couldn't have been done in any other way other than on the cloud. It’s one of the really exciting ways that we've been able to contribute.”
Karin joined Deloitte Canada more than three years ago to lead its strategic growth in cloud. That growth has been fast and Karin has helped build the capacity to meet marketplace demand by hiring new talent, as well as overseeing an acquisition of a cloud services company.
“What I find fascinating about working in the cloud space is that things are constantly evolving and new services are coming to market so quickly,” she says. “I really love the excitement and the pace in the marketplace. No three months are ever alike in this job—things are changing all the time, our clients are looking for our help and there's never a dull moment.”
There’s a reason cloud is such a dynamic field: It has evolved from a ‘nice-to-have’ to the cornerstone of business transformation in the space of only a few years. “Cloud creates the opportunity to innovate so much faster,” Karin says. “It brings a tremendous amount of promise to our clients, especially when it comes to the world of data and AI. Cloud can be leveraged to do high-performance computing, look at very large data workloads and come up with insights and analysis that would have been otherwise difficult to do … and these things can be turned on and off very quickly with a minimal budget and that's where you really start to see the promise.”
Karin’s technology career began after she graduated with a business degree. Before joining Deloitte, she had built up an impressive body of work in the IT services and infrastructure industry. But you don’t necessarily need to be a technologist to work in cloud, she says.
“In the world of technology, everything is changing so quickly, so if you have an aptitude for learning and taking on new information, you'll excel. Everybody is are accustomed to rapid change, we educate each other, we learn from each other and there are so many resources for learning and deepening your skills. Just bring to the table your understanding of business problems and a willingness to learn.”