Blair Lyon, Head of Cloud Experience, Akamai

Throughout his professional career, Blair Lyon, head of Cloud Experience at Akamai, has been involved in technology, especially from the customer ex­perience side. His key role is analysing customer experience from product development, sal­es, marketing, support, and customer success angles.

As an alternative cloud pro­vi­der, Akamai Linode is focused on helping customers get comfortable with thinking about multicloud in a way that makes sense for their business. In Lyon’s opinion, alternative cloud is the biggest ongoing trend and is driven by a host of other trends such as cloud complexity, rising costs, poor customer service, trust issues and lock-in. “A big part of addressing this trend is by leveraging the strengths of the Akamai Linode combination to elevate availability in more places closer to our customers, helping them scale up with the kind of edge and CDN services they will need as they grow. This is something that has traditionally been hard for alternative cloud providers to deliver,” Lyon adds.

While Lyon has had many memorable moments during his career, he specifically remembers his assignment at a start-up, DuPont. The company had moved him to Philadelphia, where his team started from ground zero to build a platform to connect de­signers and manufacturers in the textile industry. “We connected facilities in India and Southeast Asia with designers in New York and Europe. As a result, what used to take months and resulted in poor quality was reduced to days. It also dramatically reduced errors and rework. It was a great project to be involved with at that point in my career,” he recalls.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in business and a minor de­gree in Far East studies from Wittenberg University, Ohio. Lyon perceives his main strength to be a blend of creativity and comm­on sense and likes to solve complex problems through a creative le­ns. “The biggest challenge we see is also a massive opportunity. This fragmentation presents a challenge from a technical and ma­rketing standpoint, but it is also a chance to stand out and build se­r­vices that are ideally suited to specific market segments,” Lyon notes.

Lyon likes to stay focused, help team members be successful and support their career growth. “This is the prime responsibility of any manager, to help people grow,” he says.

Lyon’s family comprises his wife and two teenage children. His wife has a science background and was a registered physical therapist prior to running vaccine clinical trials for Merck for 10 years. When not working, Lyon likes to spend time in and around water, boating or sailing, with his family.