Oliver Jones is a founding Board member of Infrastructure Masons. He is a real estate and business services serial entrepreneur and investor with global experience. As CEO of Chayora, Oliver is pioneering the development of hyperscale data center campuses in the largest cities of mainland China.
Why did you get involved with iMasons?
My involvement in iMasons arose following a long and fascinating day-long meeting with Dean [Nelson] soon after he had left eBay. We shared and sparked ideas and I was intrigued to hear of the iMasons concept. I instantly got it and was inspired to collaborate in being part of the creation of an industry-wide network which could help to steer the digital platforms supporting our world. I specifically felt that my European / Asian perspective would be a vital counterpoint to the developing West Coast bench strength Dean was assembling.
My wider driver was also spurred on by a recognition that the speed with which networks, data centers and cloud platforms were developing was likely to outpace any government or international regulatory decisions. Responsible leaders in the sector therefore need to set out their strategies, learn from each other and seek to ensure the industry is well run and becomes highly regarded, not feared, and importantly, avoids catastrophic failures.
Why is increasing industry awareness important?
Most people are technology consumers. The younger they are, the more intuitive their adoption. Few understand, or care about how devices work, where data goes, or even what ‘the cloud’ is. It is only when events associated with organizations like ‘Cambridge Analytica’ are thrust into the public eye that people pause to think about their data and interactions. But the spotlight is usually brief; and the exceptional utility and convenience swamps such concerns. But this may yet change.
Today the dependence of the world on digital infrastructure has increasingly vital characteristics. Where once the risk was simply lost time and effort through emails being lost or documents corrupting; today lives and wellbeing often hang on assured digital performance through smart city systems enabling our major metropolitan urbanizations to work; through artificial intelligence and IOT communication supporting healthcare and transportation; through security systems protecting people and assets in a challenging world; and on platforms enabling global trading and commerce to be relied upon. Just imagine today’s pandemic being unsupported by technology…
Each leader in the iMasons world stands at risk of overseeing a calamitous collapse ‘on their watch’ and so iMasons connectivity, networking and sharing through giving back can play a key part in mitigating this risk. It is an amazing opportunity to have an impact as part of an exceptional group of people.