Karen Krivaa: A Technology Leader Propelling New Frontier of Digital Transformation
GigaSpaces is a pioneer of in-memory computing technologies. For over a decade, the company has been delivering enterprise software platforms to hundreds of Tier–1 and Fortune 500 organizations across the globe to power their digital transformation initiatives. Customers from industries, including financial services, insurance, transportation, healthcare, retail, and more, leverage GigaSpaces’ InsightEdge platform for low-latency transactional and analytical processing at scale. The software powers mission-critical and time-sensitive applications across on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments to optimize business operations, adhere to regulatory compliance and enhance the customer experience. GigaSpaces technology is also embedded in leading products and service platforms through OEM agreements.
The move to digital and online real-time services is becoming an even higher priority as competition grows and more complex regulations require greater agility from enterprises. This trend is challenging enterprises with multiple, siloed data stores, and who are not able to process and analyze data at the necessary speed to provide expected response times to their external and internal consumers. To that extent, GigaSpaces simplifies businesses’ digital transformation initiatives with its AI-driven, high performance, and elastic scaling data fabric. The software platform connects to disparate data stores with one click and the data can be accessed for real-time operational analytics and digital applications.
An Ingenious Leader
Karen Krivaa is the VP of Marketing at GigaSpaces. She has worked in the technology space for over 20 years in different marketing roles including product management and marketing, portfolio solutions, and corporate marketing. Understanding the business environment and customer challenges and then translating these into impactful messaging to convey the value of innovation, is her passion. Karen is motivated by the concept building cohesive teams and stresses the importance of working closely, knowing that each team member can rely on the others at all times, understanding failures and learning from them, and celebrating the successes together. Prior to joining GigaSpaces, Karen worked at RADVISION, a pioneer in video over IP, where she led the product management and marketing teams. She also headed the marketing for private wireless networks across many industries at Alvarion, as well as managed the solution marketing team for customer engagement and experience software at NICE Systems.
Powering Digital Transformation Strategies
GigaSpaces’ products are powering digital transformation initiatives. Its innovations are geared to fill gaps that its enterprise and OEM customers convey, in a differentiated and simple manner, that can bring them measurable value. Customer first is the most important aspect of successful innovation, and GigaSpaces prides itself on combining a customer centric roadmap with future-proof technology innovations. The company’s customers are striving to retain their competitiveness but, in many cases, their existing infrastructure is struggling to support the growing data loads and performance requirements for modern digital applications, thus not meeting the SLA and expectations of their customers, especially when there are unplanned peaks and at high concurrency. GigaSpaces’ in-memory technology is unique, in that it provides a distributed, low-latency data fabric that leverages AI-driven policies to connect to the existing data stores, deploy new services, and scale elastically across all environments; all while accelerating applications by an order of magnitude. This enables customers to deliver exceptional customer experience while reducing time-to-market and TCO. GigaSpaces true cloud native platform supports on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments, which is extremely valuable as large enterprises transition to the cloud in a continuous low-risk manner, and do not want to rip and replace their existing mission-critical infrastructure.
Integrating Technology to Drive Digital Innovation
Karen asserts that AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are fuelling innovation from all angles. Leveraging these technologies within an enterprise can result in delivering autonomous capabilities that save on resource-intensive and error-prone processes. Insights gleaned from AI power more accurate data-driven decisions and actions at every level – from development, manufacturing and sales, to marketing and modern customer-facing digital services. Cloud is also similarly impacting organizations. It benefits a business by providing agility, scale and data management, and will also affect an organization’s existing processes. For smaller companies, the cloud provides an engine that can accelerate innovation and scale. For larger organizations, the move to the cloud needs to be managed very carefully to avoid risk and ensure success.
Moreover, Karen believes that leaders must take advantage of these technology innovations to remain competitive while understanding the impact on the culture of their organizations. Digital transformation is not just about technology, rather it also includes a comprehensive cross-company vision, strategy and adoption plan.
Exemplary Leadership Attributes
According to Karen, having a vision is a vital attribute for transformational leaders. To continue to always move down the same path will never lead to exceptional results. In this regard, she feels that the vision alone is not sufficient. It must be augmented with a conducive environment that nurtures transparency, creativity and passion which results in a sense of purpose to achieve success. Karen says, there is a great metaphor that compares a company to a conglomerate – a rock composed of many pieces. If all the pieces do not move in the same direction together, that rock will not move. This means they must drive the vision together. For example, when aligning a shift in a company’s strategy, one of the main roadblocks can be from teams or key players that fail to embrace change, which hinders the entire process and lowers the chances to succeed.
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
In the technology space, it is always challenging to maintain a healthy family and work balance. At the beginning of Karen’s journey, she didn’t have a strong mentor, who could nurture and guide her. This can slow a person’s growth as a professional and a leader.
In addition to this, Karen feels that women today have fewer opportunities when compared to men, especially in high tech. The unconscious bias remains a global challenge which is backed by the low number of women in leadership and board member positions. Women need to continue to invest in their careers and, be dedicated tenacious and passionate to succeed. Karen has learned along the way that women must stand up for what they believe in and persevere. They don’t need to be afraid of change or move out of their comfort zone and dare to fail, because that is how everyone can grow wiser and turn that knowledge into greater success as they move forward.
Envisaging the Future of Computing
The big data market is growing rapidly, and in parallel in-memory-computing technology platforms are expected to grow with a CAGR of over 20%. The need for real-time data and analytics processing is also fuelling GigaSpaces’ rapid growth. The company’s core in-memory computing technology is helping its customers deliver on the promise of big data, with a modern data and analytics platform that is powered by AI-driven policies, ensuring the required speed, scale and availability at the optimal TCO.
COVID has increased demand for GigaSpaces solutions, as digital service usage is skyrocketing, market trading volume continues to be volatile, stricter regulations are in place and analytics and BI on rapidly changing data are required. In this crisis time, enterprises are also rushing to the cloud and seeking solutions that can help them migrate in the best manner with hybrid and multi-cloud support. GigaSpaces is perfectly positioned to address these challenges. In June, the company announced an additional $12 million round of funding that is helping it drive innovation, scale global expansion and further develop collaboration with partners.
Advising to Budding Women Leaders
Imparting leadership advice to emerging women leaders, Karen says that women can achieve anything they want if they focus on and invest the necessary effort in that. They need not be afraid to be strong and to push their ideas and beliefs. “Sadly, in many organizations, strong women can be described by others as aggressive. But if you are a professional and passionate about your ideas, you will be able to move the needle and drive adoption within your company,” she added.