Staff Biography - Simon Walkden
In detail, what is your role at Think IT?
As a technical delivery supervisor, it's my job to support the members of the technical department in whatever capacity is required to ensure a consistently high level of technical excellence shines through to our clients. Day to day I could be doing anything from a hands-on project for a client right through to working with our network operations team to define new technical processes for the department to follow, or maintaining our own internal systems.
What is it that drives and encourages you within your work and personal life?
Contributing to a team (and a wider society) by both achieving and bettering myself in the professional arena, and raising my children to be positive, contributing citizens.
Who, or what, was the biggest influence in your career today?
In my first 'proper' job, my boss transformed me from a meek young boy into a more confident speaker and problem solver. Without his guidance and coaching, I doubt I would have been able to take an interest in technology and apply it to something with a tangible outcome.
Whose biggest fan, are you?
Bill Gates, who would still be the richest man in the world if he hadn't given most of it away for the betterment of humanity. There aren't many people that can claim to have nearly eradicated a disease like polio. He is someone who has chosen to dedicate his time and resources to improving the world - and not for money or fame, but because he genuinely believes it is the right thing to do.
What accomplishment are you most proud of within your job role at Think IT?
Prior to joining Think I.T., telecommunications was considered a niche part of what we do. The knowledge and experience I brought with me have made telecommunications a core part of Think I.T.'s offering, which has really changed the way we can engage and help businesses reduce costs and drive further productivity.
What technology most excites you?
Automation; but probably not what immediately comes to mind when this word is read. When you enter a McDonald's you no longer see five people running the tills; you see one or two filling orders with people queuing at touch screen terminals entering their order. A decade ago people imagined system automation as things resembling Johnny 5 or the terminator; it's actually a rethink of what the end objective is, and how it could be done with fewer people that are causing massive changes. Dishwashing wasn't automated with robotic arms standing beside a sink; it was done with a dishwasher that sits beneath your kitchen bench. Over the next 5-20 years, we're going to see a major upheaval of tasks which humans have traditionally done, much the same as took place during the industrial boom during the Victorian era which saw jobs such as lamplighters disappear.
What areas should business be focussing on when it comes to technology?
Business leaders should be looking at what HR tasks/processes exist, what outcomes they achieve, and how those outcomes could be achieved through more efficient means. Are you manually printing a document out just to fax it, when you could send the print job immediately to a virtual fax and save yourself 5 minutes? Are 20 of your staff spending 5 minutes every morning waiting for an application to load, when you could upgrade your equipment and effectively gain 8 hours productivity per week? Are your clients manually filling in a form which you then key in yourself, when your clients could fill the form out themselves online? There's a startling amount of inefficiencies that exist for most businesses in all kinds of places, and we'd love to talk to you about eradicating some of them.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Anything which involves exploring the world with my wife and two children. We love camping, boating, rock climbing, canyoning, fishing and most other things that get us outdoors. We have family spread as far as Thailand and the Canary Islands in Spain so there are a few places on our list to visit. It will take us a while but we'll get through them all.
If you could gain one super-human power, what would it be?
The ability to accurately predict the future. Perhaps only the next 30 days in order to get a heads up on the world, otherwise it would make for a rather boring existence.