‘Automation has risen so quickly, everyone needs to get involved’

9 Mar 2021

Foyin Olajide-Bello, Avanade Ireland. Image: Microsoft

Foyin Olajide-Bello is a cloud consultant with Avanade Ireland. Here, she talks about the technology she works with and the tech trends she sees on the horizon.

In recent years and in particular since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, cloud computing has become more important than ever. This is something that Foyin Olajide-Bello focuses on in her role as a cloud consultant at Avanade Ireland.

She joined the Microsoft-focused IT consulting company recently, but has more than 12 years of tech experience working across various industries including banking, manufacturing, education and health.

In her current role, Olajide-Bello manages the Microsoft Power Platform delivery for a client in the financial services sector.

“I am responsible for the end-to-end delivery of the project, from the solution and architecture design to best meet our client’s requirements, through to the development and implementation phases, specifically a bot to support Microsoft 365 users and an automated way of requesting for Microsoft Teams,” she told Siliconrepublic.com.

‘Citizen development empowers everyone to do more’

Before coming to Avanade and moving to Dublin, Olajide-Bello worked for a large bank in Nigeria, where she was an active part of driving digital transformation. With this experience, she has witnessed several tech trends emerging over the years.

“I am excited about citizen development, mixed reality and artificial intelligence,” she said.

“Citizen development empowers everyone to do more. The need for automation and app creation has risen so quickly, that everyone needs to get involved. You don’t have to learn programming skills to automate a repetitive task at your desk or build an app to meet a business requirement.”

Olajide-Bello added that the prospect of mixed reality and its ability to allow users to join meetings and conferences through holoportation and avatars is “amazing”. Last week, Microsoft revealed its new mixed-reality platform, Microsoft Mesh, that aims to help people feel like they are in the same room as each other using a combination of virtual and mixed reality.

“I had my first experience at Microsoft Ignite where I met my friend from Nigeria at the Ignite lobby,” Olajide-Bello said. “We [virtually] walked down the hallway together and had conversations with other people we had never met before.”

She also said she’s excited about AI because it has the potential to make work easier. “With Power Apps, the AI builder was introduced to enable users build intelligent models. We can also see this in the Power Virtual Agents, which enables the bot understand natural language and respond intelligently during its interaction with users.

“AI will continue to be a major aspect of technology as it continues to advance.”

Women in tech

Olajide-Bello has always loved technology. She said she’s also passionate about empowering other women within the sector and recently founded TechStylers, a community to help upskill women in technology.

“TechStylers is a global community of ladies who have a very important superpower: the ability to use technology skills to solve real life problems,” she said.

“The community is focused on supporting women who desire to grow in technology. We meet twice a month to teach emerging tech skills, soft skills and invite women who have thrived in technology over the years. These sessions have proven to be very inspirational and rewarding.”

Olajide-Bello also champions the Digital Futures programme for Avanade Ireland – a CWIT (Connecting Women in Technology) initiative that informs students about careers in technology and engineering.

While she believes a lot has changed since she started out in tech, Olajide-Bello said a lot more still needs to be done.

“We need to continue to support and mentor ladies who desire to have a career in technology. Having more ladies join communities like TechStylers – where they are taught and mentored – will really help additional women thrive in technology,” she said.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic