As the winner of the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) Technical (Partner – Multinational) award in 2021, Lisa Crosbie has proven to be one of Barhead Solutions’ top and vital tech experts time and again, from being a non-technical graduate to becoming the company’s most trusted leader when it comes to knowing the latest Microsoft innovation in the cloud space.
Today, Lisa is distinguished as being among Australia’s Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) ranks.
How did you get your break in the IT industry and what prompted you to specialise in your field?
I made a career change in 2016 out of a long career in book publishing to switch to the IT industry, prompted by a desire to learn and grow. I had worked in sales and marketing roles for years, including getting involved in CRM projects.
The IT consultant I was working with while in publishing saw huge growth in the Microsoft business applications space ahead, and I took a big leap to quit my senior management job and go to work for [the publishing company’s] small business on a short-term contract.
That was an incredibly fun and challenging year, but when it came to an end, I got my big break with a job at Barhead Solutions, which was willing to take a chance on me even though I didn't fit the typical experience criteria, and which gave me the opportunity to grow and develop into my current role as a tech evangelist.
What are some of your proudest achievements or projects?
Being awarded Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in 2019 has been a career highlight, and the contribution I make to the technical community continues to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever been involved in.
I am most proud of what I am able to teach others every day, helping to figure out creative solutions to business problems, helping customers understand what's possible with the technology, and teaching non-technical people how to get started, through our program of public events at Barhead, which has reached over 5000 people, and my YouTube channel. And I'm still immensely proud of that first technical certification I earned back in 2017 which, at the time, I thought was well beyond me.
What are some of your professional ambitions in the months ahead?
I am always striving to learn more, share more and stretch outside my comfort zone. This year I want to get deeper into the AI [artificial intelligence] and collaboration capabilities within the Microsoft platform and really showcase that innovation and help customers understand how to get the most out of it. I'm also aiming to reach and engage with more people by getting into live-streaming.
What is the most surprising or profound thing you've learned or discovered while working in the IT industry?
That it is possible to have a technical career without writing code and where I get to talk to people all day. I have also been surprised by how much the skills I have in communication and learning, which I always took for granted, have become superpower skills for me in the IT Industry.
Who or what has influenced you professionally?
The Microsoft Power Platform community has had a massive influence on my career. This group of incredible people across the world freely share their expertise, help each other and truly live by the mantra of "we rise by lifting others," and I would not be where I am now without them.
I am also fortunate to work with incredibly smart and dedicated colleagues at Barhead, and our CEO, Ken Struthers, has been a huge professional influence in helping me discover and create a unique path that was right for me in this industry.