1. Can you give us a bit of background on yourself and what you do at Insight?
I have been in the IT industry for over 20 years. While I didn’t have an IT background (degree in Zoology), I initially got involved in Business Process Outsourcing, working with HR and utility billing business units to drive more efficient processes. From there I moved to work for a company called CSC, initially working in New Business Solution Teams across Europe and the US, then moved into Service Delivery.
I worked within the Healthcare division for over 8 years, and towards the end of my 18 years with CSC, I moved into Global Operations and managed 6,000 staff across Europe, USA and Australia. CSC merged with HP’s Service Division to create a new company, DXC, where I was involved in many of the merger and integration activities. I wanted to do something slightly different and chose to move to Insight in early 2019. I am now Vice President of EMEA Services and my mission here is to build and grow services in Europe.
2. What tech industry trends do you predict for the next decade?
The word of the moment is DIGITAL – you can’t turn around without the term being put in front of just about everything, Digital Marketing, Digital Transformation, Digital Services. There have been several significant improvements in technology that are fuelling this ‘digital’ revolution.
Firstly, the advancement of network technology that now enables us to shift significant volumes of data across mobile networks. Secondly, our ability to process and store this data in the cloud for access from anywhere at any time, and thirdly, the speed at which software can be developed and deployed in weeks. These shifts - often known as the 4th Industrial revolution - will underpin business for the next decade.
These affect our industry in two ways:
(1) IT Service itself will change. As advanced AI drives automation, software lifecycles will continue to shorten to release new functionality frequently to users.
(2) Every business will become a tech company as companies apply automation, AI and IoT techniques to core business processes.
3. What’s the most frustrating thing about the tech industry?
I think the most frustrating thing is how we are perceived outside of the core tech industry. I think one of the reasons for this is how IT is taught in schools. It’s often very boring and not seen as creative and innovative - which of course is totally incorrect as tech is at the heart of the most major innovative changes.
I work with schools and external agents (such as STEM) to change this perception. The impact of this is that we don’t attract the diverse skills and talent we need to really take tech to the next level in the industry. I think we can do so much more to show technology in a better light and shed the ‘IT Crowd’ view which many people have of our industry.
4. What’s your earliest tech memory?
Perhaps not one for sharing (especially if my Mum read this!) but my parents bought me a small handheld computer in the early 90’s. I was intrigued and decided to take it to pieces to see what was inside. Unsurprisingly enough it never worked again, although I managed to get all the pieces back in place so nobody was any the wiser as to why it suddenly stopped working.
5. How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
Force of Nature.
6. What one piece of tech could you not live without?
My Apple headphones, I love them! They are small, compact and enable me to easily listen to audio books - my saviour for long train and car journeys when I can’t read or work on my PC.
7. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a 19 year age gap between my eldest child and my youngest. Having been a young parent and an older parent, I have a range of useful parenting survival tips - whatever age you start a family.
8. What do you need to be successful in the tech industry?
Curiosity - a “never give up attitude” and to remember that tech is a complex world and nobody knows it all (even if they pretend they do) so don’t be afraid to ask the question…you will never learn if you don’t.
Look out for the next instalment in this series on Insight’s nominees for the Women in Channel Awards