What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as a technical support engineer and support co-ordinator at Tobii Technology AB, which is a leading eye-tracking company. I got into IT by coincidence. I have a technical background so that helped, and when I moved to France I found out about IS Decisions and things fell into place.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2016?
From an IT security standpoint, the “insider threat” will move up the priority list. IS Decisions’ research in 2015 found that of those companies in the UK and US that don’t currently have an insider threat programme, two thirds planned to have launched one by the end of December. I would expect in 2016 that more than 80 to 85 per cent of companies will have an insider threat programme in place — and those that don’t will be playing with fire.
What is your most overused word?
“Basically” and “technically”. Technically, it’s not really one word, but these are basically the words I overuse the most.
What never fails to make you sad or disappointed?
Reading the comments section of any news publication online. Even on videos of cats, there’s always someone saying something offensive or stupid.
What is your most annoying habit?
According to a quick poll in the office, my habit of starting to sing whenever a word reminds me of a song (words… don’t come easy to me…).
Your closest near-death experience?
I was near an armed robbery at a petrol station in the US once. We heard a couple of bangs and — being European — immediately thought that someone’s tyre had blown or something. But the American guy who was with us knew straight away that it was a gunshot. We ducked under a table. I didn’t dare look to see what was happening. Thankfully I don’t think anybody was hurt, but it was quite scary.
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
I want to go horseback riding in Mongolia. I like horses and Mongolia would be a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures — and not just go to touristy places. It just needs a bit of planning now!
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes, unfortunately for forests! There’s something special about print. Reading everything online strains your eyes, and because you’re connected to so many different things, you click on a link or an email pops up and you get distracted.
Do you have a favourite motivational quote?
You mean those phrases printed on a picture of a flower or a mountain that people share on LinkedIn? Not really, I tend to follow my gut feeling. If you’re not happy about something, change it – or at least don’t just complain about it. And never regret anything; you’ll always have learned something on the way.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The perfect channel partner is one that you can communicate with regularly and openly. The relationship is never quite as strong if you just get an email from your partner once in a while for an order. It works best when partners are willing to give vendors feedback, which is beneficial for everyone.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
The last feature I saw wasn’t really a film but it was so interesting so I wanted to share it. It’s a YouTube documentary series called Human. Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the film maker, interviews people all over the world who talk about their lives. You never hear the questions, just the answers, and the whole thing opens up a new perspective. It’s really moving.
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