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Leadership Spotlight with Adam Wayland, Managing Director of ACCSO International

1. Tell us about your company & your role?

ACCSO International is a leading full-service technology partner specialising in tailored digital solutions. Founded in 2010, we have developed extensive domain knowledge in banking, insurance, logistics, automotive, and SMART industries and cities.
The company is well-established and recognised for its expertise in digital transformation, cloud solutions, AI and data, process automation, IoT, and software architecture.

With a highly trained workforce of over 300 professionals spread across five strategic offices in South Africa and Germany, ACCSO has completed over 2,000 projects. Our extensive experience makes us a trusted technology partner for businesses worldwide. Our commitment to excellence and innovation ensures that we remain at the forefront of technological advancements, enabling our clients to thrive in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Despite the emergence of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, ACCSO pioneered AI and large-scale data platforms, driving significant advancements, such as in TV and streaming services, before this development.

As the Managing Director of ACCSO International, I am dedicated to expanding our business in South Africa and entering new markets across EMEA and North America. I bring a unique blend of operational expertise, business leadership, and technological acumen. With a proven track record as a seasoned technologist, my diverse knowledge ranges from computational neuroscience to natural language processing systems and complex digital solutions. I excel at understanding industry trends and emerging technologies, enabling me to guide my talented engineering team by fostering a culture of innovation and excellence. My commitment is to ensure ACCSO continues to deliver cutting-edge solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients globally, maintaining our competitive edge in a fast-moving technology landscape.

2. What are your main priorities & goals in your role?

International growth presents significant challenges, but we are dedicated to overcoming them. My marketing and sales teams are actively increasing awareness of our core industries within our target markets. I am committed to expanding our business networks across North America and EMEA through active participation in international conferences and leveraging our technology leadership while providing global consulting services.

My leadership team and I prioritise a culture rooted in the highest customer satisfaction standards, ensuring that every team member is aligned with this commitment. Additionally, we focus on maintaining world-class excellence and fostering creativity in engineering, supported by a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusivity.

At ACCSO International, I strive to create a dynamic and supportive workplace environment where our team can thrive and deliver exceptional work. By investing in our people and upholding our values, we are well-positioned to drive sustained growth and innovation on a global scale.

3. How do you define success & what drives you to succeed?

Success, to me, is defined by the achievement of strategic objectives that foster company growth, enhance market presence, and deliver exceptional client satisfaction. It involves not only meeting our financial targets but also building a strong brand reputation and forging lasting relationships with our clients.

I am driven by the desire to solve complex problems through technology, to lead a team of passionate individuals, and to see the tangible benefits our solutions bring to our clients. This includes creating an environment where innovation flourishes and team members are encouraged to push boundaries, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of industry advancements. Seeing our clients achieve their goals and our team members grow professionally.

4. How do you keep your team motivated?

I care about people, and I care about the careers of my team members. Accso’s vision is to create a place where people genuinely want to work. We have always placed a strong emphasis on our employees and have been people-centric from day one. We are transparent, maybe too transparent at times.

It is important to me that everyone is heard. For this reason, I have a coaching hierarchy with curated topics that ensure everything runs smoothly. Each person’s career goals are heard, and Accso is motivated to help them achieve them through thoughtful staffing on projects and the company’s educational framework.

Accso has a culture of delivering excellence with a collaborative team spirit. We recognise and reward employee contributions, reinforcing their value and appreciation to the organisation.

5. What new trends/disruptors are emerging in your industry?

Several trends and disruptors are shaping the landscape.

Practical Applications of LLM (Large Language Models): Since November 2022, when ChatGPT was released, companies have been exploring the practical applications of LLM to achieve the promised significant gains in their industry. Many are investing in PoCs, with the few most successful ones transitioning them into production and justifying the high costs for training and retrieval.
Cloud Computing: Cloud computing continues to evolve, offering more scalable and flexible solutions for businesses.

Industry 4.0 Solutions: We see an increased interest in Industry 4.0 solutions, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and digitization in the manufacturing, warehousing, (mining) and agritec.

Sustainability and Green Technology: Lastly, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainability and green technology; particularly, the agricultural sector is experiencing significant advancements in green farming technologies. These innovations include precision agriculture, which uses data and IoT devices to optimize and enhance farming practices, reduce waste, and increase crop yields.
At Accso, we are at the forefront of these trends, leveraging our expertise to help clients navigate these changes and implement cutting-edge solutions that drive their digital transformation and competitive advantage.

6. What areas do you think need to be improved to enhance the business environment in Cape Town, especially in the context of the current energy crisis we are facing?

The current energy crisis is significantly hindering business operations. It is essential to enhance the stability and reliability of the power supply by investing in sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. This will reduce dependence on traditional power grids and ensure a stable energy supply.

Investments and development in infrastructure not only support existing businesses but also attract new investments.

By prioritizing crucial sectors such as green energy and technology services, Cape Town can drive its economic growth. Providing incentives and support for investments in these sectors will enable the city to diversify its economic base and mitigate the impact of the energy crisis on various industries. Encouraging such investments can help Cape Town build a more robust and diverse economy.

7. What major changes would you like to see in the local business environment?

Continued robust collaboration between the public and private sectors is important to effectively leverage their combined strengths for driving economic growth. Building trust and reducing excessive regulations facilitate smoother business operations. Decisively addressing corruption creates a stable economic environment. Entrepreneurship builds the backbone of our economy, and addressing skill shortages through comprehensive training ensures our workforce is well-prepared for future demands. Investments in infrastructure and the maintenance thereof remain critical. Finally, we can provide sustained long-term success and stability by instilling a culture of hard work and investing in strong, value-based leadership.

8. Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?

We have identified a significant skills gap in the market, particularly in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. To address this, ACCSO International is rapidly advancing our AI capabilities by investing heavily in training programs and actively recruiting specialized talent. This strategic focus ensures we remain at the forefront of technological advancements and can meet the future demands of the industry while driving continued innovation and growth.

9. If you could choose to have dinner with four influential South African business or government leaders, who would you choose?

I would especially appreciate the company and conversation of:

Tavaziva Madzinga – Group CEO of Santam
Navneet Kapoor – Chief Technology and Information Officer of Maersk South Africa
Gus Attridge: The Deputy CEO and co-founder of Aspen Pharmacare
Andrew Kirby: The President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors.

10. What’s the best advice you’ve been given or would give, in business?

Stay humble, do your research, stay adaptable and open to change; however, believe in yourself as it is not always easy!

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