Starting her career studying IT at the University of Johannesburg, Tumelo Zwane began interning at a small company within the industry in her third year at the university. After graduating in 1998, Zwane joined Telkom in 2001 as a HP-Unix System Administrator and Sun OS/IBM Aix Teamleader. Since then, she has held multiple roles at State Information Technology Agency, South African Revenue Service, T-Systems and EOH, before joining the Special Investigating Unit in 2018 as Chief Information Officer (CIO).
When it comes to being an effective leader, Zwane highlights the importance of being flexible: “You need to be flexible enough to see what the world is changing into, and be able to adapt to all the changes rapidly. You also need to be able to look at what your organisation is currently facing from a technological point of view and be able to transform based on the world’s expectations. Ultimately, I think as a leader, if you don't transform, you are going to be left behind. You need to be able to move with the times and be very much aware of the cybersecurity trends.”
Reflecting on her own leadership style, Zwane says that inherently, she is a very good listener and believes in learning from your team.
“One of my biggest traits as a leader is leveraging on each other's strengths. I believe as a team, each one has particular strengths and if we harness those and ensure that we bring each of our strengths into a team to form a formidable force, it enables every area that might have a gap to be closed as much as possible.
“As a leader, you must also keep abreast with what's happening in the world when it comes to the economy as well as what is trending. I have infused my technical background as a system administrator and technical engineer with my role as a leader to ensure that the two are fused to drive the right technologies and infrastructure for the organisation. As well as ensuring that from a strategic point of view, we continue to drive and map the organisation towards a robust and agile environment.”