'20 under 40’ 2014—David Sime
David Sime, 34
VP of engineering and delivery, CONTAVA, Edmonton, Alberta
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I wasn’t inspired to get into security, I fell into it. But I became inspired quickly when I saw what it was about and where it could go. … It’s cool, sexy, complex technology, with many different pieces and it’s all changing very fast. I came from the telecommunications industry and was the first technical resource at CONTAVA to be entirely ignorant of the technology application. But that new perspective paid off, and we’ve built a company full of brilliant technical resources coming from many different enterprise IT-based industries. It’s easy to attract this talent. They get to work on the coolest technology, with much more variety than traditional network, server and desktop delivery and support roles. There’s so much more here, and not only are you working with sexy gear, you’re doing it in a cool environments, government institutions, data centers, power generation, you name it.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
I wish we could do more to get into the technical schools, universities and job fairs in our area. … To show that it’s not just alarm systems, it’s so much more sophisticated. It’s an easy sale.
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
The transition to IP-everything and converged or integrated systems is reaching maturity. There’s more push from end users to merge everything onto [their] existing IT infrastructure. There’s more shared computing, and storage infrastructure. … In the past, a lot of security was appliance-based; now organizations have unified hardware platforms. I continue to see a migration away from stand-alone systems, enterprises want converged infrastructure. Another trend is that hosted architecture—the so-called cloud—could become prevalent. … That will reduce the amount of infrastructure we put on site, and we’ll host and manage those systems centrally.