Kelvin Kirby

clock • 3 min read

What has been your personal highlight of 2020?

In a year that has been unusual, managing to get a holiday to Cape Verde in just before lockdown. We left before there was any hint of restrictions and arrived back a few days before the full lockdown came into force, so we were lucky to have squeaked through.

From the business side we have continued to grow, even though some customers put off projects until recently, but cloud services has been a fortunate area to be in as a result of COVID, and although we have been delivering services remotely for the last 15 years, it seems as though everyone now realises that it actually can be done effectively this way.

Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?

Emilia Clarke or Kit Harrington - but only because I have SO many unanswered questions about Game of Thrones!

Elon Musk - because getting an insight into the way he thinks and the future of technology from his perspective would be fascinating.

Graham Norton - because he has the gossip on so many other celebrities and he would keep the party going!

Of course the question should have been which three characters would you invite - in which case it would be Spock, Daenerys Targaryen and Holly Golightly.

What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?

Binge-watching Line of Duty as I didn't get to see it first time around. I still watch re-runs of Star Trek though! I like Captain Kirk's leadership style - there's a lot to be learned from those old episodes. There are lots of other series I still would like to watch but I just haven't had the time.

Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?

It's a bit clichéd I guess but Elon Musk has managed to increase his net worth by 30 per cent during lockdown AND launched a raft of impressive new technologies and products.

Love him or hate him you can't deny that he is a prolific inventor, visionary and very clever guy.

What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?

My laptop for sure. It's my world for about 18 hours a day (often more). I'm not sure what I would do with my time without it. My backup is my phone of course.

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?

Oh that's an interesting one. Why would I want to be anyone else though? I quite like who I am!

Do you miss face-to-face events?

Yes of course. I miss the social interaction, especially at conferences, which have all converted to virtual events this year. I think it may be a while before we can get back to in-person conferences, but I think people will be so much more enthused and actively involved when they do return. I look forward to that.

How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?

Of course, there will be much more focus on remote delivery. And working from home has proved to be a huge success. That, in turn, means more fragmentation of where on-site services may be delivered (from office to homes instead). Companies will downsize and, as a result, will convert on-prem hardware into cloud services.

We're going to see the rise of more virtual companies, with no formal office space as such, and all staff working from home. This will have significant implications for social change and the way we interact with others. In my company we have had many challenges in recent years trying to organise meetings or events that all staff could attend at one place and time. So it has morphed into localised groups of staff meeting socially (and now remotely). I suspect this will be our new world for a while - at least until we can all get vaccinated anyway.

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