This year’s UKtech50 list of the most influential people in UK IT reflects the great variety, ability and potential of the technology community in this country.
The 50 names on our list, voted for by a panel of expert judges and our readers, are something of an eclectic bunch. They work in financial services, retail, manufacturing, logistics, media, leisure, charities, police, NHS and government, both local and central. They come from the IT industry, from consultancies, from the IT profession, from the start-up community, from politics and education.
They reflect a unique cross-section of the UK economy that perhaps only technology can provide. There are men and women – only seven of the latter, something that UK IT needs desperately to address, but at 14% of the list not unreflective of the wider IT profession.
More than anything, they represent the future success of IT, and therefore an important part of UK economic recovery too. These are the role models to whom everyone in UK IT should aspire to build their own influence, to innovate with IT, and to inspire others to follow in their steps.
It will be little surprise to many that Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch tops the list this year. He has gone from being founder of the UK’s biggest software firm, through a £7bn acquisition, to become one of the most senior leaders in the world’s largest technology firm, HP.
In our exclusive interview with Lynch, he says that his role at HP gives him “the ability of having an impact on the world and make change,” – surely an aspiration for every leader in every walk of IT. But, “At heart, I am still a nerd,” he said.
The next 12 months will be critical for UK IT – as it will for the entire UK economy. All of us working in technology know that IT should – must – be central to the future of the UK, for creating jobs, generating wealth and opportunity, for cutting the cost of government and improving public services.
The influence of our UKtech50 leaders – and of everyone in the IT profession – will never be more important.