Mirza Baig: CIO Responsibilities for SkyLink a 24/7 Proposition

Mirza Baig
Mirza Baig in SkyLink’s 24 hour operations center

Mirza Baig joined global aviation services and logistics contractor SkyLink Aviation in early September as chief information officer to help lead the firm’s information technology infrastructure and offerings across its five permanent offices and several other field locations.

Baig, a more than 14-year federal IT veteran and former federal civilian official, spoke to ExecutiveBiz shortly after he was appointed to the role and described the round-the-clock nature of his job.

At times, Baig says, his phone rings at 1:30 a.m. Eastern time as the company’s offices in Afghanistan and Dubai start their respective workdays.

“Managing SkyLink's multi-site environment which is dispersed throughout different countries with different time zones and with limited bandwidth are some of the challenges that I am faced with everyday. The nature of the business can at times escalate to rapid response which can be challenging, especially when working at odd hours of the night,“ Mirza told ExecutiveBiz.

“Being able to provide 24 x 7 support for end users at all hours is now what I have become used to.“

SkyLink focuses much of its work on short missions within hours of notification and aims to finish that deployment within one day or two, Baig says.

“This requires all employees to be connected and it is a challenge to be able to support this rapid response capability anywhere in the world,“ said David Dacquino, SkyLink CEO.

Baig’s main focus through a standard day is to redesign the company’s network and server infrastructure, as well as to help build a network security design with necessary controls and procedures to protect information systems assets from intentional or inadvertent modification, disclosure, or destruction.

The goal is to ensure that customer data is protected and secured across SkyLink's office locations, he says.

“Many of SkyLink's operations are very complicated and frequently dangerous requiring personnel to be armed for self-protection,“ Baig said.

“On our missions, we take care of everything for the customer in the most remote locations to give them reliable communications.“

SkyLink’s employees speak a variety of languages and this can present challenges in his work to maintain the company’s IT setup, he says.

“The transition to SkyLink has been exciting, as the job requires someone who is able to wear multiple hats. Being able to control all aspects of IT infrastructure and architecting SkyLink's network and services to support the global enterprise WAN and LAN environments has been very challenging, yet very exciting at the same time.“

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