Leadership is an inborn trait polished with skills

Katya Ivanova, Vice President Worldwide Inside Sales at Acronis shares the insights into her journey in the world of technology. 

Katya Ivanova, Vice President Worldwide Inside Sales at Acronis

Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.
Leadership for me is a combination of inborn traits, learnt habits and developed skills. A lot of people dream to be in a leadership role but very few are good at it. Indeed, leadership is not a job but rather a calling and it should be about others, about the people you lead and empower to achieve great results for themselves and the company. A lot of leaders lack empathy and the drive to not only manage but also inspire.

What made you choose IT as a career opportunity?
Honestly, IT chose me. Having a Master’s Degree in Linguistics, working for a technology company was never on my list. However, during the job search process, I got an invitation to an interview with Acronis and I decided to give it a try since the company and products looked very exciting. As it turned out, it was the best decision I have made for myself as 10 years later I am still with Acronis and we have achieved a lot together.

How has your unique background prepared you for success in the industry?
I am not sure I can call my background unique. I have a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and all the IT business acumen I have today I have learnt on the job. I was lucky to join a company (Acronis) that fosters growth from within and gave me multiple opportunities to learn and expand my skillset to various new areas.

What was your most interesting job?
Definitely, my current role, even though each role I had before this one participated to the foundation of where I am today. I have an amazing team of dedicated and passionate people around the world who make every project and every achievement an adventure.

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of computer technology?
Do not doubt yourself – no one is perfect and there is no such thing as 100% ready – go for what you want, learn on the go and be smart enough to see setbacks as lessons, not failures.

Do not wait until the opportunity will come along – ask your manager for new challenges, training or tasks that will help uncover new skills and show that you are ready for the next step.

If you are afraid to fail (most people are, you are not alone), imagine a potential worst-case scenario and discover how things might not be as scary as you thought.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?
Re-thinking concepts that were known to us for years and bringing them to completely new levels. For example, our company has built Acronis Cyber Protect – the only solution that natively integrates cybersecurity, data protection and management to protect endpoints, systems and data. Integration and automation provide unmatched protection – increasing productivity while decreasing the total cost of ownership.

Very known concepts of backup, antivirus, patch management, malware protection which we are used to seeing as standalone solutions (typically even built by different vendors) are now brought under a single user interface, which gives business completely new, unmatched cyber protection level.

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?
Artificial Intelligence has already started to transform multiple industries. Cyber protection and cybersecurity are no exception. Acronis represents the next-generation solution with an advanced AI-based behavioural detection engine for zero-day attack prevention. In short: we use AI in our antimalware and antivirus features which outperform by far any traditional antivirus.

What’s next for you in terms of your career in the tech industry?
Continue to drive Acronis to be the ultimate leader in Cyber Protection in the market!