What has been your personal highlight of 2021?
Without doubt, welcoming our team, their families and friends to Warwickshire in September for our 10th anniversary family fun day.
As a company, we have grown considerably over the past two years and so for many of us, this was the first chance to meet colleagues face to face.
Which tech figurehead has impressed you the most this year, and why?
I have been extremely impressed by Julie Cordua, CEO of Thorn, for their expansion and implementation of their software, which uses technology to make a tangible difference in fighting problems which technology itself has exacerbated (for instance, child pornography), particularly in the midst of a pandemic.
Julie Cordua's work is using technology to arm law enforcement worldwide with the tools to fight child pornography online. I believe in the last year Thorn's software has resulted in 21 children being protected from abuse, over 20,000 victims being identified and has resulted in 150,000 pieces of Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM) being identified and removed from the internet. Her resilience and unbending focus and her lack of self-promotion in assisting with such a great cause has to be admired.
Which one lockdown habit do you plan to keep going?
To maintain the increased focus on the wellbeing of our team. Pre-pandemic, when not based on customer sites, 99 per cent of our people worked remotely, so there was not as greater shift in working habits for them as individuals or as much change as other organisations may have experienced. However, that does not mean their families or people they live with were used to the new environment.
We made a concerted effort to put even more measures in place to look after our people's wellbeing, and offer support to their families should they require it. We made it clear that if anyone was struggling help was - and will continue to be - on hand.
By doing this, we made sure the levels of service our customers have come to expect from Tisski was maintained and most importantly, we had a happy, healthy workforce.
Which face-to-face industry event are you most excited to return to, and why?
Microsoft Inspire. Even in last year's virtual setting, it was still an exceptional event; however, it's an event about partnerships and having the ability to network, have face-to-face conversations and explore the art of the possible together is special.
Technology has enabled collaboration across geographic boundaries, but for an event like Inspire, a handshake, fist-bump, or elbow to elbow greeting just edges it.
If you had the time to learn one new skill, what would it be?
I would like to learn about robotics; it is not an area I am very familiar with and I think it is a fascinating area
which will change the world (hopefully for the better), particularly in health and social care.
If you could go back in time and tell your childhood self one thing, what would you say?
The only failure is not trying, and have confidence and give it to others. It is a wonderful gift.
If you had to sing karaoke, what would be your song of choice?
When We Stand Together, Nickelback
Sum 2021 up in three words.
Teamwork eclipses challenges.