7 Things with Costas Liassides

Costas Liassides - Managing Director & COO

Costas Liassides, Senior Technology professional with over 25 years of experience, gives us a brief insight into his views on business and life in general.


1. What was your first job?

My first job was with Decca electronics as part of my industrial training during my degree in computer science. My first real job after graduating was with Burroughs Machines, I joined them to do research on RDMS products (database products were still relatively new is those days!).


2. What is your favourite movie?

I have diverse tastes when it comes to films… I would say that my favourite movies are probably One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Dr Zhivago and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.


3. What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?

I was always very career-centric and spent little quality time with family… I would advise myself to spend more time on hobbies and family.


4. Who would your ultimate dinner party guests be?

I would love to have dinner with Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Socrates and John Kennedy. I would ask my wife to cook the meal, as she is the best cook I have ever known.


5. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt in business?

Know your topic very well and know your client’s business intimately. This is the only way that they will allow you to partner with them; if you want to join the top table, particularly in Tier 1 financial institutions, you must be able to add value and influence the bottom line. As IT is still perceived as a cost base, CIOs/CTOs need to elevate themselves to the next step up the value chain, by living and breathing the business issues and challenges. When IT was a mere enabler, as a CIO you had to be business aware – but things are changing now. IT often drives business strategy, so the skills of senior IT professionals are more diverse, with entrepreneurialism and market awareness being key attributes.


6. What emerging technology are you most excited about?

Technology has been influencing peoples’ lives for years. We have now reached a watershed where the impact is more obvious and more life changing. Like almost everyone else, I am used to technology innovations and expect technology to be present in everything we do. I look forward to being chauffeured around by a ‘robot’… scary, but very exciting.


7. Does artificial intelligence represent a threat to humanity?

Artificial intelligence is another form of technological advancement – albeit slightly scary, as it impinges on areas traditionally reserved for human beings. Some people have images of machines taking over the world, but I don’t think that this would ever happen, as machines

lack instinct, feelings and most of all intuition. Besides, humans are too smart to ever let that happen – I hope!