We sat down with Hugh Walcott and Emilie Fetscher who are the Co-founders and Directors of StrataMap, one of our industry partners, to talk about their software and relationship with us. StrataMap have taken one of our Master of Software Development students as an intern before and kindly provided their software to our Master of Professional Business Analysis students as part of the programme – as well speaking to our students to provide them with insights into the tech sector.
StrataMap is a modelling and standardisation platform for businesses who are dealing with complexity. Hugh says they’re “trying to bring expert and stakeholder viewpoints together to make it a collaborative and simple process.” Different experts (including advisors, auditors, assessors, architects, and analysts) work on projects together to help create transformational change inside organisations. But, Hugh says, often organisations have to continuously build this framework from scratch which is why they created StrataMap so people can just hit the ground running and create a birds-eye view immediately.
“We help organisations visualise their risk landscapes and navigate complex change journeys.”
Hugh shared that they’re constantly evaluating and identifying core value propositions for their customers, both government and private, and has noticed that the things that are ‘hot-topics’ at the moment are cybersecurity and compliance. He noted that the “change mechanisms themselves have changed too, what used to be plateaus is now a continuous engine room of change.”
Emilie mentions that they haven’t actually finished building their platform yet and are, due to the constantly changing technology environment that Hugh mentioned, collecting feedback from their customers so they can make sure they’re making the right decisions. One of their sources of feedback is our Master of Professional Business Analysis students who they’ve provided their software to free of charge. Emilie believes it’s important for the students to be able to get a taste for what real organisational change looks like through tools like StrataMap and that the classroom environment is a safe place for them to experiment in.
The trend overseas, Emilie says, is a dedicated focus around the transformational objectives of organisations and that New Zealand is a bit behind. She says that we have the technology but we’re behind in capability and maturity which is why education is so important. By providing their tool to our students, before they go out into the industry, Emilie hopes it’ll help them develop a collaborative and sustainable mindset to operate it with so when they get jobs in the industry they can unleash its possibilities. She says that most “solutions in this world aren’t technology-based and we need to figure out how manage the accelerating complexity of organisations to create something better together than we ever could alone.”
“We’re not going to solve these organisational problems alone, we’re one part of an interconnected solution.”
Hugh says that “the way we manage our knowledge is fundamentally broken. We rely very much on heroes within our organisations, but heroes don’t scale and we’re drowning in complexity. We haven’t been throwing away the trash, keeping old legacy systems but it’s like plastic that really doesn’t go away.” He says that we can’t just put a band-aid over it and, instead, need to think about a holistically fundamental shift. They both agree that the burden is on the next generation, our students, to overcome these barriers which is why they’re supporting them.
“We simply cannot continue to work under the same limitations. Going forward, people need to understand the impacts coming to their business and collaborate on respond and recover initiatives. StrataMap is a platform where we can learn from each other and integrate feedback to design more sustainable systems.”
We asked them for some advice for our students. Emilie said “don’t just focus on the assignments [the solution] but, instead, learn how to ask better questions” for she’s noticed that people can often jump to conclusions without gaining a proper understanding of what they’re trying to solve. Hugh said that, although hard skills get you in the door, it’s the soft skills he looks out for. He said that the reason he chose our Master of Software Development student, Jack, as an intern was his cover letter. He was impressed that Jack had done his research on their company and eloquently explained why he wanted to work there.
If you want to partner with us to support our students through guest speaking, mentoring, projects, internships or more please get in touch with Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org