Technical director, Gardner Systems
Tell us something most people won't know about you
I'm not sure if there is much, but I did once play Baz, the bully in Adrian Mole, and yes it was a musical version and yes, I did ‘sing'… well, spoke to music at least!
What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?
Liverpool's Champions League run was fabulous fun. Tech-related, the continued evolution of the data industry continues to be a highlight; how we use data and what we can start to do with it continues to fascinate. I'm still always surprised and flattered that people read my blog and listen to my podcast - so that's always a highlight.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Adam Driver, not for any other reason than he's quickly becoming my favourite actor and really enjoy watching him on screen - so if someone's playing me, I should at least enjoy watching them do it.
Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?
It's not just one, but those companies who are able to see a shift in technology trends and rather than deny them, embrace them as a cornerstone of their strategy. Microsoft is a great example of this; the change in the last five years is incredible and should be admired.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
There's no such thing - if you enjoy it, there is nothing to be guilty of (within reason).
What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?
‘Let me show you how I'll solve your GDPR problem with my…'
What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?
Two-fold: stop the Brexit folly and ban reality TV.
What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?
In an industry that moves and changes as quickly as ours does, there are always new opportunities. Right now, anything around data, security, compliance and analytics are all huge opportunities. If you add on AI, machine learning and IoT, the opportunities are only going to continue to grow and change. Importantly though, all of these things are difficult and for most businesses they may want to take advantage of them but are unlikely to have internal skills they need.
What is your most treasured possession?
I'm not sure I have one, life's not really about things.
What do your family think you do all day?
I'm not sure they know. A couple of years ago my son did a week of work experience with me - it was coming up to Christmas and it was just one of those weeks, where it was a mix of meetings and going to Christmas dinners. I think that's probably what they think I do for a living.
Who has been your mentor in business?
I've learned from lots of people. I've worked with my CEO for 20 years and learned a lot from him, but also a range of people in the industry who have all helped shape the way I try to work and involve myself in community. The tech business is great for that; there are a whole load of people to help you develop your career in whichever way you want - just ask.
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