CV Wallet CTO: ‘We need greater transparency about data’s energy use’

30 Jun 2023

Adrian Griffith. Image: CV Wallet/Andrey/

Adrian Griffith, CTO at CV Wallet, discusses digital transformation and sustainability in relation to the skills-based hiring platform.

Adrian Griffith is the chief technology officer (CTO) at CV Wallet, an open, skill-based hiring platform that uses Web3 technology to enhance recruitment processes.

Griffith has more than 15 years of experience working in the technology industry, delivering application development projects across a variety of sectors.

In his current role, he works to achieve the company’s mission of using the latest technology to create a “fairer, more efficient and trusted hiring ecosystem”.

“In pursuit of this goal, I need to identify and research the best tools, technologies and approaches, balancing our drive to be innovative with the need to stay on task and execute efficiently.”

‘If we can use technology to help people to thrive in the right careers, then they will get much more out of their work-life balance’

What are some of the biggest challenges you’re facing in the current IT landscape and how are you addressing them? 

The pace of change is the biggest challenge, but it’s a good problem to have. Knowing what to focus on, what problems to solve first and what tools and strategies to use is an important art, with so many shiny things competing for attention.

It doesn’t feel as if we’re particularly limited by technology at this point. The foot race is more about who can blend the right technologies to solve important problems – and the first is not always necessarily the best.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation in a broad sense within your industry?

The whole area of digital transformation is one that never ceases to amaze me. On the one hand, you might expect all organisations to be fully digital by now, in terms of their systems and processes. On the other, I still get sent things like contracts and agreements to sign via Word or PDF attachment, instead of via digital signature platforms. That’s an obvious reminder that there’s still a long way to go for the laggards (how you do anything is how you do everything).

At the other end of the spectrum, the seemingly exponential development of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities (and the fact that these tools are now readily accessible to the masses) has created an embarrassment of riches for us. The key for us is to choose what to focus on carefully and to pick tools and strategies that add value. This is equally applicable to what we build into our product and how we manage our internal operations.

Sustainability has become a key objective for businesses in recent years. What are your thoughts on how this can be addressed from an IT perspective?

We need greater transparency about issues such as energy efficiency, especially when it comes to (computing) process-intensive tasks; it’s perhaps too easy for companies that don’t produce a physical product to overlook their environmental impact. We all know there are a lot of raw materials involved in manufacturing a vehicle, but it’s much harder to visualise the impact of processing a 1,000-token AI task.

Big platform providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud have plenty of information available if you forage for it, but it’s generally not front and centre on their homepages. Thankfully there are meaningful initiatives out there, such as the B Corp Movement and the Green Software Foundation which provide a credible framework for some of the key elements of ESG.

In terms of end-user IT solutions, there are many factors. For example, it’s often said that “If you measure it, you can improve it”. So, data is key, ergo IT systems are tremendously important in that regard.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

It’s clear that AI in all its forms is on a formidable trajectory at the moment. There are reasons to be both excited and apprehensive. Mo Gawdat (ex-Google and author of Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World) has shed some light on the concerns one might (should?) legitimately have about the march of AI.

I’m inclined to focus on the positive opportunities it brings to potentially enrich people’s lives. There are some compelling use-cases in the areas of mental wellbeing, coaching, the loneliness epidemic, health diagnostics, predictive analytics and many more besides. What we’re working on at CV Wallet directly impacts careers and jobs; what we do in terms of employment typically accounts for how we spend the majority of our waking hours in a ‘normal’ work week. If we can use technology to help people to thrive in the right careers, then they will get much more out of their work-life balance.

What are your thoughts on how we can address the security challenges currently facing your industry? 

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet. In terms of what we should all be doing now; I’d say everyone should be using some form of multifactor information along with a password management tool. This is especially important in a remote, BYOD (bring your own device) world.

The bigger story, and very much part of what we do, is around Web3 and beyond. Some of the core principles such as decentralisation, self-sovereign identity and verifiable credentials will go a long way to solving some of the ongoing challenges around security and trust. That said, it would be foolish to believe that the problem of security will ever be truly vanquished. There will always be bad actors seeking to exploit whatever vulnerabilities they can.

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