Professor Colin Wright pursued an academic career in Computational Mathematics—including his PhD, research, teaching and PhD graduate supervisions. On retiring as full professor of Computational Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg he was granted the rank of Emeritus Research Professor. His senior academic management career included Head of School(s), Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Member of the University Council and its Executive and Finance Committees. He did a stint at Wits as executive responsible for Libraries and IT. He led University and ICT Strategy formulation groups.

At retirement he was appointed as Research Manager of the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and then subsequently to manage the SA National Research Network (SANReN). In 2008, he successfully motivated for the establishment of the national Very Large Database facility (VLDB) which was initially co-located with CHPC and is now being matured into the Data Intensive Research Initiative for South Africa (DIRISA).

As a consequence of the 2012/13 international review, the current individual SA Cyberinfrastructure entities plus a new e-Infrastructure Skills and Training unit are presently being merged into the SA National CyberInfrastructure System (NICIS). Early beginning of 2014 he was appointed by the Department of Science and Technology to advise on and lead the NICIS implementation.

Since its inception, he has been a member of the G8+O5 Research Data Infrastructure Working Group which has advised internationally on data strategy. During the last few years he has advised the European Commission in different capacities on e-Infrastructure matters, including the EC H2020 Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures Advisory Group.