Tell us what you do for a living.
I run Reconnix, an open source ecosystem and digital delivery company that has adding value for the client running through its DNA.
Why are you the right person for this job?
I have spent the whole of my working life in and around IT. I understand its unique opportunities and challenges and the different personalities attracted to this type of working environment. However, though I’m IT literate I’m not overly technical and so I focus my skills on ensuring that we deliver excellent service levels and additional value to all our clients. As a service business it is imperative that both sides of the equation are fully covered.
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What gets you up in the morning?
Apart from the alarm clock, the desire to create a company that everyone associated with it can be proud of. Also the challenge to succeed during difficult trading times is really exciting.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
Many of the usual suspects: my husband (and business partner), my parents, and former employers. Also, I must mention the clients who turned up for the aerobics classes I ran some years back. They taught me that whatever you do, you have to be reliable, trustworthy and deliver good service, however hard your day has been or under the weather you may feel. And, that with self-belief, you can succeed at anything if you try hard enough.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
Best advice: A former boss taught me that you don't have to know all the answers - you just have to know how to find out and provide the information when you said you would. The worst advice I received was from a business advisor that you need a formal business plan prepared before you start your venture. The real world is too dynamic to rigidly stick to any plan that was made before you start.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
Think about the business as a whole: what do you need, apart from IT skills, to run it effectively and efficiently on a day to day basis? Think about where your skills are most effective and add most value - if you are a phenomenal coder and solutions innovator are you also able to sell to the general public? Use your skills in the right places and hire for other positions. Lastly, hire only the very best people every time. Don't be frightened to employ people who know more than you. Good people do not come cheap and there is a reason for that.
What does the next five years hold for the channel?
I think that disruptive technologies in manufacturing, the Internet of Things and security will have the most influence over the channel in the next five years.
3D printing will revolutionise manufacturing much as desktop printing revolutionised printed documentation in the 90's. We already have 3D scanners available and sub £1,000 desktop 3D printers so the next evolution will be 3D printers that can fabricate with non-plastic components. It will have a massive effect on the supply chain and how products reach the end-user.
Improved wireless communication will give rise to the Internet of Things. Every conceivable device will be connected to the network, generating enormous amounts of data for manipulation and interrogation to unleash true value for the client. However, making it easy for the user to manipulate and extract information to give them the leading edge over the competition will be key; otherwise its storing the data is just an increased cost.
Security will still be at the forefront of everyone's agenda as long as users still exist and require access to systems. The channel has a vital role to play to ensure organisations are as secure as they possibly can be.
Tell us something most people do not know about you
I like Flamenco Dance and have tried my hand at it. Sadly, it requires more time than I was willing to give it. It’s on my try again later list.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
Reach my 100th birthday with a healthy and reasonably fit body and an active mind. And complete Ashtanga yoga series one. Why aim low?
What is the best book you've ever read?
The Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer – I have reread them both many times. You can find the best and worst of human nature in these stories and they are inspirational – set your goal, overcome all obstacles as they arise, however daunting they appear, and eventually you will be triumphant.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
The Exorcist - it terrified me. I think I kept my eyes shut through most of it.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
The Jungle book soundtrack to keep my spirits up; Gayatri Mantra as I would have plenty of time to master meditation; a few of the Now compilation albums to dance around to; my favourite operas: Madam Butterfly, Tosca, Turandot, Barber of Seville and La Traviata, to sing along with.
What temptation can you not resist?
The opportunity to sing along with the radio when I am driving – usually when alone as I have a terrible singing voice.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
My first car was an ancient Ford Cortina GXL, it was an enormous emerald green rust bucket which ensured you got wet feet if it rained heavily. No comparison to my current car where everything is reliable and comfortable.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Gordon Brown, I think he would be really hard to be at ease with; Derren Brown, because who knows what he would get everyone doing; and Robert Mugabe for every bad thing he has done – although Derren Brown might be able to work on him.
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A cat, wild or domesticated. They are nimble, strong, flexible, alert yet relaxed, and exert effort only when needed. A good model for business.
If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?
The 100M freestyle swimming because, despite my best efforts, I am a poor swimmer. Olympic swimmers appear totally at ease and as one with the water, unlike me!
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Superman. He would swing things in my favour. Always choose the right person for the job!
And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?
The silverback every time, mainly due to my perception of their differing agility.