What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first graduate job was in business development for Gartner Group. I had a strong interest in how technology can improve businesses. Gartner was a great place to learn and gain experience of the IT sector.
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
What is the most important trend to follow in 2016?
Robotics (RPA) and AI. This area of technology is pushing boundaries. Software robots perform repetitive and mundane tasks quicker and more accurately than a person is able to. This will have a profound effect on back-office functions and traditional BPO contracts. The real benefit I see is that RPA enables your staff to focus on adding value in more complex activities.
What is your biggest regret in business?
Not pushing myself further earlier - we all have it in us, we just need to know when we are ready to step up.
What was the first record you bought?
I'm not sure I should admit this, bit it was Tarzan Boy by Baltimora.
What is your most overused word?
Probably ‘Brexit'. I think we should move on and rename it ‘Britain gets on with it'.
Why do you think there is a skills shortage? What can be done?
The skills shortage is caused by two things. First, there are simply not enough young people studying tech-related subjects at school, college and university. Second, businesses are increasing investment in IT as they seek to reap the benefits it can bring. What can be done? Employers need to think about their strategy for attracting IT staff. In today's market, people don't have to be onsite or even in the same country to deliver successful projects.
Your closest near-death experience?
It has to be getting caught in a storm off the Maldives while sailing a hobby cat. I was on honeymoon with my wife at the time. The storm ripped our sail and threw us around for what felt like a lifetime. We clung on until it washed us up on Dhoonidhoo Island, a prison island on the Maldives!
Do you have a favourite motivational quote?
"Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt.
What should government be doing to help UK businesses grow?
Brexit will force us to reconfigure the UK economy. To help businesses grow, we need strong leadership and clear plans for setting up trade agreements. This will give businesses the confidence they need to invest and grow.
CRN in print or digital form?
Digital form. In today's busy world, I find it quicker to consume information via laptop, mobile or tablet.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
A partner that wants a genuine partnership; win-win so that both partners benefit from the relationship.
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