What is your role and who do you work for?
I’m the CEO of Cloud Gateway, part of the 6point6 Group. Cloud Gateway is an award-winning Hybrid-Cloud Connectivity Platform (PaaS) solution that provides businesses with both the mechanism and resource support to adopt, develop and operate Cloud, Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud environments. Cloud Gateway isn’t just a disruptive technology, it is disrupting the entire IT industry.
How long have you been in technology?
I’ve worked in IT for nearly 20 years, specialising in networks and security in both the private and public sectors spanning technology, telecommunications, finance and insurance industries. Throughout my career, I’ve led the delivery of complex IT programmes and assisted in overhauling network architectures to streamline existing infrastructures that assist businesses in making significant cost savings.
In 2006, much earlier in my networking career, I worked in a small team responsible for the design and implementation of a cutting-edge e-commerce architecture for what was then called Norwich Union. It was an exciting project and provided a huge learning curve for me that allowed me to grow my knowledge of networking and security and develop the skills and expertise that would enable me to go on to co-found Cloud Gateway.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Our biggest – and most exciting – challenge is growing Cloud Gateway. We’ve got a great team and with technology advancing every day, there’s a huge opportunity to continue to improve on the platform we’ve created.
The cloud and its uses are widely misunderstood so as well as growing our business and working with a vast range of different clients, we are on an education mission. We want leaders to be inquisitive, to research and to make as much use of the cloud as possible to truly benefit – knowledge is power, as they say.
What technology were you working with ten years ago?
The biggest development in technology I’ve seen is the transition from hardware to software. Ten years ago, everything was appliance and hardware based; everything you owned you could touch, from the network and security equipment to the data centre itself. However, while we are now moving to a much more software-based model, the data centre shouldn’t be completely dismissed. The hybrid model is where the most success lies – having your cake and eating it is becoming a reality.
What is your favourite technology of all time?
My favourite technology of all time has to be the home computer, the Commodore 64 to be precise. I appreciate that answer is a little nostalgic on my part but the significance of the machine to me personally and professionally is astronomical. The advent of home computing was something that as a child I would not appreciate as much as I can today, but the generation of people it inspired to work in IT is what has helped the growth of the technologies we see today, particularly in software development.
How will the Internet of Things affect your organisation?
For Cloud Gateway, the Internet of Things will have a massive effect. The more we put on the internet, the more we are exposing ourselves to security risks. Our data is becoming increasingly precious and the “not knowing” of who has access to such data leads to social and ethical implications. Most importantly, we need more understanding of this technology, how we can leverage it properly but also how we can secure it as well.
What smartphone do you use?
I am an avid Samsung user!
What three apps could you not live without?
WhatsApp to communicate, Twitter to join the discussion, and Uber to get me from A to B!
What new technology are you most excited for a) your business and b) yourself?
For the business, I am most excited for the continuing improvement of cloud ecosystems. Take Amazon or Microsoft, for example, on a daily basis there is something new in their ecosystem. Of course, not everything is going to be relevant to your offering but occasionally it could be absolutely perfect and revolutionise your business.
You get a toolbox that allows you to build whatever you desire and continue to develop and perfect it. Technology is moving so fast it’s impossible to predict what will be around next week, let alone next month or even year, which is hugely exciting – you need to keep up or else you become old news.
On a personal level, I am excited to see how software becomes more present in the entertainment devices we have in our homes. I strongly believe that we will end up consolidating our devices into one physical box and software licensing will allow us to make use of different functions. Imagine a miniature home cloud environment!
But most importantly, I’m still waiting for Marty and Doc to bring the flying cars into reality!
If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing?
Definitely teaching. I have a real passion for enthusing young talented minds and getting them to challenge themselves – there’s no greater pleasure than seeing children learn something new.
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