A Goal-Oriented Champion, Achiever and Coach
With the plan to acquire all the knowledge that she could within the IT landscape by learning, reading and writing lots of IT professional exams, Abiola Akinosi, started her learning journey during her undergrad days at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. The curiosity in how IT security and controls have evolved over the years and how IT can harness artificial intelligence (AI) to help under-resourced security operations analysts stay ahead of threats acted as a driving force. Then, curating threat intelligence from millions of research papers, blogs and news stories, AI technologies like machine learning and natural language processing provide rapid insights to cut through the noise of daily alerts, drastically reducing response times.
Abiola is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in IT controls testing and design and has expertise in implementing and managing IT standards and frameworks, cyber security, project management and network operations. She is a skilled professional in enhancing the coordination of the team, as well as identifying and harnessing each team member’s strengths for the delivery of the team’s output. Furthermore, she is adept at assisting organisations in the implementation of SOX controls, IT governance risk and control, complimentary user entity controls (CUECs) testing, reporting, and driving remediation. implementation of IT Transformation by applying methodologies using SEMCA demonstrated knowledge of COBIT 5 domains control framework; ISO 27001:2 security control domains; application testing and quality assurance. Amongst these, she has proven herself to deliver success with top-notch quality in every complex project!
Much like others, she had her own share of challenges, but she believed in hard work and God’s grace to overcome everything. When appointed to manage one of the biggest projects in the power distribution industry in her home country, Nigeria, she faced her biggest challenge in installing prepaid energy meters for Nigerian citizens. Due to national interests to verify if the project will be a success and the fact that the sector is highly regulated, she had to put the following in place:- Obtained management and regulator buy-in for the success of the project
– Implemented governance processes around the project by setting policies and procedures in place
– To effectively and efficiently deliver the project, manual processes around the installation of meters to Nigerians were automated
– Online real-time reporting of the number of meters installed
– Feedback mechanism in place for customers to provide their experience during meter installation to improve performance.
Despite these challenges, Abiola successfully delivered the project within time, scope and budget.
Being one of the most celebrated black women in the international community is Abiola’s driving passion. She shares, “The need to add value in any organization I have worked for and any affiliation I am part of drives my passion, be the spokesperson for the black IT community. Encourage young IT professionals to be a better version of themselves.” She looks forward to improving the world and impacting her generation by being a good example. Amongst her many achievements and awards, Abiola has achieved the IT SOX rating of 100% compliance, has fully executed a Federal Government Project within time, budget, and scope and has achieved 100% compliance in annual security training across a user base of over 40K. She has been awarded the “Outstanding Leadership Award | Internet 2.0 Conference” in 2023 and “CEH Hall of Fame Finalist | EC Council” in 2023.
Further, she shares her views on how a great leader tends to the needs to his followers, nurtures and creates other leaders. She adds, “In my experience, Self-Leadership is the most vital aspect of being a great leader, it is a leadership style where you model the behaviour you want to see in your team members. When you lead by example, you don’t just push team members towards excellence—rather, you actively demonstrate that excellence”. According to her, a great leader must achieve the following: leading oneself, having the ability to influence and negotiate, communicating upwards, parallel, and downwards, having interpersonal abilities, managing change and managing and developing teams. He/she must be result oriented and should possess a vision, passion and resilience.
Abiola Akinosi is obliged and feels that God Almighty has blessed her with the honour and privilege of being selected as one of the Global Game Changers 2023. To the readers, she expresses the need to set measurable goals for yourself in your chosen career, reach out to professionals that have succeeded in that same field, persevere, and adhere to achieve your goals. “Do not forget the days of little beginnings, and the sky will be your starting point”