The Man Behind the Technology - Interview with Utopia CTO, Peter Aynsley-Hartwell

Posted by Julia Tseline on August 9, 2018

IMG_0442Have you ever wanted to know more about the people behind Utopia’s industry leading technology? We caught up with Utopia Chief Technology Officer, Peter Aynsley-Hartwell, to learn a little more about him.

Tell us a little more about your role at Utopia

I've been with Utopia Global for 12 years and am responsible for our solutions portfolio which includes Utopia IP and software which is sold as SAP products in their Data Management Portfolio.  I also oversee our presales, R&D and solutions teams.

What made you decide to get into technology as an industry?

I was an engineer by trade.  About 26 years ago, I was working as an engineer at a dairy company. When the company got acquired, I had six months to quickly and efficiently move our current environment over to an SAP environment. As a result, I learned a lot about SAP and the breadth of solutions they offer.  Once I started working within the SAP ecosystem on different projects, more opportunities came my way.  I landed at Utopia and immediately became a part of an innovative ecosystem.

What do you consider your biggest achievement at Utopia?

My biggest achievement at Utopia was being a part of the transition of Utopia from a services only company to an end-to-end data software and services company.  We kicked off development of our SAP solutions extensions offerings in 2013 and it enabled us to get where we are today – a leader in data governance solutions. I am very proud of that.  I am also proud of all my teams and the hard work they put in every day and the tremendous growth that they have reached not only for the company but for themselves. Their capabilities are limitless.

What do you wish other people knew about Utopia?

I wish people would understand that we have evolved as a company.  There are two groups of people, there are the people that knew us when from the start and still think we are still only a data services company. Yes, we still do data migrations and data quality work, but I would like everyone to understand that we are a truly data focused organization that can provide solutions – both software AND services that that can-help businesses get their data business ready. 

What do you think will change with data management in the next five years?

Right now, most of the data being consumed by organizations is internally created within its own firewall and applications and therefore is manageable and more controlled within their own environment.   The biggest change is that the use of data that’s coming from outside of the organization where you have no control, will become more complex rather than completely rules based.  With that type of complexity, AI and machine learning will become much more important.

As a data expert, what sort of trends do you see?

The move towards AI and using data that is created outside of an organization for predictive analytics and to build a more intelligent enterprise is a big trend.  I also think that the automatic suggestion or correction of business rules which apply within an organization using SAP MDG will be one of the main things we are focused on in our near future. 

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?

There are two things that are critical to success…one is that you are willing to share. Don’t be scared to share what you know – offer your knowledge to others to help them grow.  The more you share, the more influence you have, the more people will ask you questions.  It’s also important that when you find someone that knows something you don’t know, listen to them and learn from them.  Never stop wanting to learn something new.  And something that I live my life by is respecting others. Tap into people’s strengths and help them where they need help but always respect their individuality.

If you were not working at Utopia, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?

I would be playing golf on a senior tour.  I would have time to practice and become great!

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

People that don’t know me might be surprised to know that I am an ACDC fan.  I’m also a former volleyball player and coach.

Topics: About Utopia