1. Hi Anna, thank you very much for making the time to talk with us today, you have a highly successful career in the tech industry, what inspired you to select IT as your sector of choice?
If I’m brutally honest, I didn’t select IT so much as happily fell into it. Twenty plus years ago, technology wasn’t so integral to our daily lives. I’d been a music scholar and I really had very little to do with technology, apart from typing up essays and a few experiments in C++ programming with my Dad (my role-model geek!). When I decided – after qualifying - that a career in music wasn’t what I wanted, I started to look for other things. I came across a job description – IT Sales – that sounded interesting and training was given, so I went for it and to my delight, I got the job. From the moment I walked through the door, I was enthralled with this new world I’d discovered for myself, fully embracing my geek side and voluntarily putting myself through and passing IBM Systems Centre exams within a year. I never looked back; technology has been an integral part of me ever since.
2. When you were a cloud focused Management Consultant, what were the most common challenges to true cloud adoption, and how did you overcome them?
I started consulting in cloud when it was a cirrus (the highest altitude cloud) type notion and so very little of it was understood, compared to now. So the most challenging thing at the time was helping clients - who’d engaged us to tell them more about how this ‘new cloud thing’ could help with the efficiency of their business operations - understand the concepts that we take for granted today.Today, I see the challenges to true cloud adoption as legacy systems integration, complex wholescale migration and the resistance upheld by risk and security divisions who don’t necessarily understand the wealth of security now deployed to keep data safe.In the heavily-regulated Financial Services industry, it has been hardest of all to overcome these issues, but the push from FinTech in delivering services very quickly and having the agility to update and change those services to meet consumer demand has now brought it firmly to the top of the agenda. Risk mitigation is the real key and bodies like the FCA stating last year that they support – and expect – banks moving to cloud-based service delivery has been transformational in changing attitudes.