About the role:
The Head of Technology is responsible for overseeing all Naspers Labs technology operations in line with agreed objectives and KPIs. He/she is responsible for assessing, developing, evolving and maintaining the Naspers Labs’ Creator-facing technology platform (called ‘Flow’), which is a key tool for the success of the initiative. He/she is also responsible for ‘Mission Control’, the team-facing interface of the platform, our VR and IT virtual infrastructure, the physical ICT infrastructure across all sites, as well as data management. As a member of the senior management team, the incumbent ensures that the platform performs the programme functions for which it was designed, which includes a blended learning model, with AI-driven personalized and adaptive learning capability. The Head of Technology is also the custodian of good governance of the platform, as well as related issues, including security and privacy, all of which must be aligned with the Naspers Group’s global policies, procedures and guidelines.
This role is suited to an individual who:
- Is passionate about and committed to our mission, vision, values and goals, and has an attitude and mindset that reflects the culture and values of Naspers Labs;
- Has excellent communication and other 21st century skills, and is able to build strong interpersonal relationships with colleagues at all levels;
- Is able to align multiple strategies and ideas, can convert programme decisions into technology tasks and outcomes, and can act as an intermediary between development and programme teams;
- Has an innovative and out-of-the-box mindset, and likes to experiment with new ideas and approaches;
- Is very solutions-oriented, and able to find ways around obstacles;
- Is able to multitask, prioritise and manage time efficiently in accordance with Scrum and Agile best practice;
- Has experience of coordinating and managing a variety of software development teams;
- Has a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or related field;
- Has at least 5 years of experience in a software development role, with at least 3 years experience as a senior developer; and
- Has full stack, infrastructure and/or devops and database knowledge and experience in line with the operational responsibility.
All team members at Naspers Labs have 5 core functions. Those of the Head of Technology are:
Leads technology strategy:
- Evaluates and further develops and evolves the Naspers Labs vision, strategies and plans for growth as regards technology elements;
- Drives and leads the product development of the Naspers Labs platform, in coordination with the Programme Team;
- Studies current and new industry trends, technologies and software development, especially in the edutech sector;
- Provides input into ICT/ technology curriculums for Creators within the Labs initiative;
- Seeks guidance and/or engagement from other ICT specialists within the Naspers Group of companies; and
- Represents Naspers Labs at technology conferences and networking events.
Effective leadership of the technology teams:
- Exhibits strong leadership skills, including using a predominantly coaching and collaborative leadership style;
- Encourages innovation, collaboration and creativity within the technology team;
- Works with the People Team to ensure that team members are doing the appropriate training and professional development they require to excel in their roles;
- Prioritises and proactively encourages promotion of team members to more senior positions in the organisation as it scales; and
- Develops and effectively implements an internship programme for the initiative’s ICT graduates, including their coaching and mentoring.
- Working with relevant Naspers Group counterparts, ensures appropriate governance, documentation and quality control mechanisms are in place, especially as regards privacy and intellectual property protection, and ensure security of the system in line with Naspers Group policies;
- Maintains infrastructure to consistently meet functional and non-functional requirements;
- Oversees and manages the delivery of system components required for Labs, including networking and hardware required for AI functioning including facial recognition software;
- Studies information processing systems to evaluate their effectiveness and make recommendations for improvement;
- Supervises quality assurance processes, integration and system tests;
- Monitors performance profiling tools and procedures;
- Develops and implements disaster and emergency recovery plans;
- Supervises IT Support Officers who provide technology support to the Labs and Support Offices; and
- Engages, evaluates, negotiates and oversees contracts with software development service providers (including AI), and ensures that such service providers perform their functions to a high quality, on time and within budget.
- Maintains and extracts accurate and timely data required to demonstrate programme impact, as described in the Naspers Labs monitoring and evaluation framework;
- Monitors analytics, and makes recommendations to improve data management;
- Works with the data analyst to identify, develop and champion business intelligence solutions and data analytics technologies for the Naspers Labs environment; and
- Works closely with the Head of Naspers Labs to create and champion a culture of data-led decision-making within the organization.
Acts as a Culture Champion:
- Leads by example, and acts as a role model for the behaviours we want to see in both our team members and our Creators;
- Conducts her/his work in alignment with the Naspers Labs vision, mission, and values; and
- Acts as a custodian of Naspers Labs culture, infecting team members and partners.
The position is a permanent one, with a three month probation period.
Reporting and location:
The Head of Technology reports to the Head of Naspers Labs. The job can be based from either the Support Office in Cape Town or the Regional Office in Johannesburg. In the case of the latter, frequent travel to Cape Town will be required in the first 6 months.