Yolanta Gill

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Chief executive, European Electronique

Career so far I was born and educated in Poland, and studied Law at the University of Warsaw. I came to live in the UK and further studied for my Master’s degree in Oxford. I joined European Electronique as a director in 1996 and have been chief executive for about eight years.

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be? I will stick to my last year’s choice which was Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great.

What will next year’s most overhyped industry buzzword be? I think it will be cloud, as it has been for some time. The term “cloud” is tacked on to a number of services and this trend is likely to continue. “Cloud offering” is represented differently by almost every company that seeks to provide IT services; the first organisation to offer a simple, clear approach to delivering cloud-based technology and services will take the lead.

Has 2012 been a good, bad or ugly year? 2012 has been an interesting year where the market has changed considerably and presented new opportunities for those who are quick to seize the moment. It certainly has been a good year for European Electronique with a number of large, prestigious contracts being won and expansion into different business sectors.

What would you have as your last meal? I would have Spanish pork with a nice bottle of Rioja.

What keeps you awake at night? The welfare of my children; as much as I love my work, my family comes first.

What piece of technology could you not be without? Definitely my iPhone.

Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes, I believe most of my predictions came true, both the negative and the positive. Negative: the tough economic climate, intensifying competition and squeeze on margins. The positive: new opportunities presented by the changing landscape.

What is the best partner/customer trip you have ever been on? European Electronique and a few of our specially selected customers, had the opportunity to attend the Microsoft Executive Briefing in Seattle, Washington where world-renowned experts gave presentations on Microsoft technologies and future product direction, and held Q&A sessions for the delegates. We also had the opportunity to meet Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft.

What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2013? The difficult economic climate will certainly present a challenge to the channel. With the economy still very flat we expect less funds available for investment in IT and the “value for money” approach by the customers to continue for some time.

Another trend is the increasing popularity of consumer-led devices in all organisations which creates a massive challenge for management and control. This trend is not likely to decrease, especially given Apple’s popularity and the great increase in other manufacturers moving quickly to catch up and innovate in this space.

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