Forbes Technology Council members are in a wide range of industries and come from a diverse set of experiences. However, they all have lots of great insights to share, from best practices for technology departments to smart predictions for the future of tech. To showcase their expertise, we’re profiling Forbes Technology Council members here on the blog. This week: Chris Ciabarra.
Chris Ciabarra is co-founder and CTO of Revel Systems, the award-winning leader in point-of-sale systems made for iPad. Chris is an expert in product development, technology, data security and corporate management. He’s also an anti-hacking expert, having founded Network Intercept, a Los Angeles security software firm.
What is your background, and how has it influenced what you do today?
My first job out of college was working for a utility company at their information help desk. The engineers noticed my passion for technology, and I was promoted rather quickly. This is where I learned about networking hardware, network engineering and information technology. I later focused on cyber security.
Prior to co-founding Revel Systems, I was president of Network Intercept, an internet security company that I started with my brother. We created a series of products to protect individuals and businesses from both known and unknown threats on the internet. Our goal was to shield people and businesses from malicious threats that could greatly affect their productivity and livelihood. The only problem was, the software was ahead of its time, and nobody prioritized taking a proactive approach to cyber-security back then.
Everything I learned from my previous roles has been integrated into Revel Systems. The knowledge I learned and challenges I faced along the way contributed to its multinational success, including an acquisition of over $100 million in fundraising and the successful implementation of more than 25,000 point-of-sale terminals around the world.
What do you think is the most interesting piece of new technology today? (And/or how do you see the technology landscape changing in the next 5 – 10 years?)
Automation is changing the digital space. Leaders in the technology industry are using automation to their advantage by creating efficient processes that empower individuals and businesses to spend time on things that really matter. It’s bringing about fundamental changes to legacy systems and reinventing the way people and businesses operate.
For example, products will be supplied with radio frequency identification tags. Shoppers can scan each item with their phone as they shop, or they will be able to place their items into a cart equipped with scanners that can easily read the RFID tags without any assistance. Automation can be implemented at gas stations or even drive through restaurants by scanning a license plate.
By altering the way businesses operate, people will have a chance to create their dream business.
What’s your best piece of advice for technology executives to keep on top of the rapidly evolving tech space?
Constantly reinvent yourself. If you can’t keep up, you won’t be in the technology space for much longer. Stay informed about the newest technology and pay attention to industry publications that follow tech companies like Forbes, Popular Science or BBC Future. Use the resources in front of you so that you can speak intelligently to your specific industry. Being well read drives innovation and builds legitimacy.