What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I worked for BT accounts, where I was placed on a project to move manual accounts functions onto computers (Small Business Machines by Newbury) in the early 1980s.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
They all have their strengths and weaknesses. If the infrastructure for all modes of transport could be sorted, people and commerce could function more efficiently.
And then I would opt for automobiles as they should be the most convenient and beneficial. I am sure we can address the challenge of carbon emissions, oil reserves and the like with technology, focus and will.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
A strong sense of unfairness. A feeling that the pendulum’s equilibrium had shifted towards an unacceptable extreme. Hopefully, that is something I will not have to experience in my lifetime.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Everton to win the Premier League this year!
If you had a week to live, how would you fill the time?
With my family, making sure we completed everything we could in the time we had left together.
What would be your superpower?
The ability to fly. Endless convenience and just think of the possibilities.
Do you or have you read ChannelWeb.co.uk on your mobile phone or another handheld device?
Yes. It is a nice and quick way to get the headlines, especially when I am on my travels.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I would write ‘HELP’ on the side of the container, and hope someone saw it and got me out.
Do you prefer print or online news?
Online. Given our green credentials, this has to be the way to go.
Do you use social media?
I use LinkedIn for business reasons, to keep contacts current as it is easy to let these slip with the busy lives we all lead. It is good to see how previous colleagues are doing and to keep a dialogue going. The daily repartee on Twitter is also a great way of communicating with customers and industry experts.
Will the economic recovery continue?
I don’t think anyone really knows, as there are so many variables, which themselves are in the hands of many. Such a question is always tricky.
If the debt situation can be resolved in the affected regions and future debt situations avoided, stability and confidence can be restored and we can all get back to improving our lot. Key for me is that we learn and do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
What does the channel most need to learn this year?
To me, it is about striking a balance so that everyone can prosper in a positive way. There is obviously lots of change in the channel in most markets.
Once this shakedown is complete and the correct balance is restored, then once again, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past and make the future as sustainable and flexible as possible so that adjustments do not have to be so speedy and so painful. More proactive governance and management is the key for all parties involved.
Is IT well taught in schools?
My view is that IT is misunderstood and that schools just tend to focus on the Microsoft Office product set as the norm.
I can understand why this is, on one level, but I think so much more could be done to devise a programme that helps make the subject much more relevant and interesting and at the same time helps industry by producing more rounded, informed potential employees. I definitely think we are missing major opportunities here.
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