Simon Harbridge

clock • 3 min read

Tell us something most people won't know about you

When it comes to preparing for important presentations or meetings you will often find me pulling together my presentation with just hours to spare - usually very early in the morning. The mixture of adrenaline and sense of time pressure seems to fuel my best effort - and often it wouldn't turn out as well any other way. Extra quality from the last-minute spontaneity!

What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?

Perhaps the week-long rescue efforts for the Thai boys trapped in the cave with their football coach, particularly with the timing of other disasters and so much division around the world in the news, although it wasn't without its own unfortunate cost. A valuable reminder of what can be achieved against mammoth odds when we work together with a shared vision.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Sir Patrick Stewart - when interviewed by the Guardian, he said he would play himself in a film of his own life, so I can think of no better character reference. And, we do have baldness and the love of a decent cup of tea in common.

Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?

Microsoft - primarily for its social and corporate responsibility. I feel we share a lot of the same values and I think its TEALS technology, education and literacy in schools programme is brilliant. Also, the culture behind its work is admirable, such as the flexibility and foresight in adapting with the needs of the market, and the diversity and inclusion mindset where employees are encouraged to provide their unique insights within their roles in the company. I feel this really fosters a sense of creativity and ingenuity in the work they accomplish.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I do occasionally like a (loud!) blast of classic rock music when working on the computer in my study, much to the irritation of my wife. Runrig is a regular favourite.

What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?

‘Digital detox'. The ‘digital detox' buzzword seems to point the finger at the technology itself. It is the culture behind the tech, not the tech itself that's important. We should be working together to innovate so that the possibilities enabled by technology continue to enrich and improve society. 

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Putting more funding and resources towards health and education is an obvious one. But the question still remains, where will this funding come from? Ignoring the £350m per week saving from Brexit(?!) we could start by halving the number of MPs and move outwards and downwards through each government department and quango saving senior heads until we had the funds. I would probably not be the most popular Prime Minister, but government would be a lot smaller.

What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?

Security, security, security. As the threat around us grows so does the opportunity for innovation. I'm really interested to see how it will change the way companies manage their IT. I believe the refresh will become more important as outdated systems pose high risks, and we will start to see the adoption of new subscription models such as Device- and Infrastructure-as-a-Service.

What is your most treasured possession?

Sad to admit, but my Miura golf irons.

What do your family think you do all day?

After my youngest daughter visited the business for a day I did hear her say: "Dad just walks around all day talking to everyone, he never really does anything!" But, in my defence I was showing her around.

Who has been your mentor in business?

I couldn't call out one person, so many different people have influenced my thinking, perhaps without even realising. You can often learn something new from everyone you meet, if you listen.

You may also like

People

clock 12 November 2018 • 3 min read

People

clock 09 November 2018 • 2 min read

People

clock 09 November 2018 • 1 min read

Sign up to our newsletter

The best news, stories, features and photos from the day in one perfectly formed email.

More on People

XChange EMEA day 2: M&A in the channel, AI to the rescue and the importance of a Plan B

XChange EMEA day 2: M&A in the channel, AI to the rescue and the importance of a Plan B

The second day of XChange EMEA delivered key business insights as well as some existential questions around AI and strategy

clock 24 June 2024 • 6 min read
Tech Talent Charter to close after nearly ten years as priorities of industry evolve 'beyond measure'

Tech Talent Charter to close after nearly ten years as priorities of industry evolve 'beyond measure'

The non-profit focused on driving diversity and inclusion across the tech sector hopes its decision serves as an inflection point to amplify the need for renewed focus

Kelsey Rees
clock 18 June 2024 • 3 min read
Anushka Davies

Anushka Davies

CRN
clock 13 June 2024 • 3 min read

Highlights

Staff & Salaries 2022

Staff & Salaries 2022

A snapshot of pay and headcount trends in the UK channel

Doug Woodburn
clock 09 March 2022 • 1 min read
Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Stephen Fenby talks to CRN after Midwich’s 2021 results in which profitability exceeded pre-pandemic levels

Josh Budd
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read
4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

IBM and Microsoft are among a number of vendors which have also announced that they will halt sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read