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IT LIFE: Simon Williams, NTT Data

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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NTT DATA UK CEO Simon Williams talks us through his career, including the integration of Orange and T-Mobile, and why wine would be an alternative career

What is your role and who do you work for?

I was recently appointed CEO at NTT DATA for the UK and Ireland. I’ve been fortunate enough to also work in 10 different countries, and launched operators in both India and Hungary.

NTT DATA is the seventh largest consulting and IT company in the world. We are a Japanese company and have spent the last 10 years growing our business outside of Japan. We are now roughly a 50 percent Japanese and 50 percent non-Japanese business.

NTT DATA is built on a foundation of excellent delivery, strong teamwork and innovation, and as a business, we pride ourselves on building long-term relationships based around advisory services and strategic transformation.

Simon Williams NTT Data

How long have you been in IT?

Although it sounds like a strange answer, I would say I’ve never actually worked in IT. Although I’ve held positions for over 20 years at various Consulting & IT service providers, it has very much been from a business benefits perspective.

What is your most interesting project to date?

At NTT DATA, we were lucky enough to support the integration of Orange and T-Mobile to create Everything Everywhere (EE). Pre-merger, I worked on the clean team, understanding potential synergies and designing the future operating model.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

My biggest challenge is recruitment. We have been growing 20% year on year for the past four years, and need to maintain quality, even at such velocity.

What technology were you working with ten years ago?

I was doing a lot of work around big data (although it wasn’t called big data then), specifically around social network analysis and understanding the power of “influencers” on people in their networks.

What is your favourite technology of all time?

4G. For the first time, we can truly be mobile. We can download videos, emails, content and the dream that was being sold since WAP has finally became a reality.

How will the Internet of Things affect your organisation?

We are investing significantly in the development of IoT solutions for and with our clients. We are working with start-ups and our own internal R&D departments to bring new and innovative solutions to market.

What smartphone do you use?

iPhone

What three apps could you not live without?

Google Maps, Audible and Vivino. I enjoy listening to talking books and love wine.

What new technology are you most excited for a) your business and b) yourself?

From a business perspective, AI and machine learning are going to transform my clients and what we can do for them. From a personal perspective, I am looking forward to developments in both AR and VR.

If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing?

Either running a start-up or being a budding sommelier.