By Brianna Patt
CMIT Solutions CEO Keyven Lewis is looking to grow the right way.
A Dallas native, Keyven Lewis first dived into the tech industry when he was in high school, with the Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer. He expanded upon this when he attended Prairie View A&M University, where he majored in Computer Science, with a minor in naval science and mathematics.
Lewis has been in the business of IT outsourcing for 30 years, originally working in corporate America. He was released from his job in 2017. That’s when he decided that it was the best time for him to branch out on his own and form an IT business.
“ Instead of saying, “I’m gonna go back to corporate America and find another job.” I was like, okay, you asked for it and he [God] answered you. You wouldn’t do it yourself. So he forced you to do it (and I’m talking about God).I decided in 2017, this was the best time for me to start my own IT business.
Lewis stated that when it comes to tech services, he finds that people, not just the black community, are often at a disadvantage.
“A good example, I’ll tell people when they pull out their phone. You got email access, you can do a video conference. So, your phone is a computer, right? And it needs support just like any other. It’s a resource that is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, no different than your laptop. Typically, when I have those types of conversations, it’s like a deer in the headlights. Some people are like, You know what, I never thought about that “
A lack of tech awareness can be dangerous at times as well.
“It’s big business. To be honest, most people don’t realize that you would think they’re going after the Microsoft’s and the Coca Colas and the Walmarts of the world. They’re not those people, those companies, those large enterprise companies, they’re aware of how critical protecting their environment is. So they invest a lot of money to do so. It’s a small business, small business owners and individuals right like you’re walking around with your phone. We don’t see it as a threat. But it is an immediate threat because we are the easier targets.”
His hope for the young black people looking to enter tech is that it offers big opportunities outside of finding the right job.
“I try to explain to the kids nowadays. With cybersecurity, you don’t have to have a four year degree, right? You don’t have to have a four year degree to go get a certification in cybersecurity and get you a job paying you $70- $80,000 a year. We didn’t have that. I didn’t have that growing up.”
His love and admiration for technology bloomed throughout his time in the tech field, from gaining a computer science degree to being a CEO. Due to technologies constantly changing nature, Lewis finds that he can never get bored in the IT field.
there’s always something new that’s coming out. There’s always new things that need solutions that you need to fix. I would say that’s the most intriguing part.
Lewis serves as a board member for Desoto’s STEM advisory council, also serving as a board member of Desoto, Lancaster and Cedar Hill chambers of commerce.
His vision for the future of CMIT Solutions is to grow the company as much as possible. Not with the sole intent of lining his pockets, but with the goal of continuing to employ people and to help those employees take care of his family.
“It’s supporting families. It’s supporting that technician and his family. That’s my goal, so when I grow that’s why I want to grow right. Don’t get me wrong, a business is a business, you do business to make money. But for me, (and I’ll be honest), my technicians make more from my company than I do, and I like it that way. Because I know that it’s making someone’s life. It’s taking care of families. It’s making somebody have a means to go out and buy groceries and have a roof over their head. That’s for me and that’s my goal.”