Q&A: Ian Metcalfe, IT director, Brother

In the first of our special series talking to IT and business leaders who are taking part in this year's Byte Night event, we speak to Brother's IT director, Ian Metcalfe.

Why are you taking part in Byte Night this year and have you participated before?

This is my first participation in Byte Night and came about after I received an invite to assist in setting up an event for Manchester in 2013. In order to gain hands on experience of what is involved in organising such an event I felt it would be ideal to actually participate. At the same time, I hope that by doing some fund raising this year, we can lay the foundations so we can get better involvement for the Manchester event next year.

I hope that we will have raised a decent amount of money for Action for Children. If I get a good night's sleep, that will be a bonus.

On a more personal note, I am in a privileged position where I don't have to worry about having a roof over my head at night, where the next meal will come from, where I am safe and secure and have loved ones around me. I can take regular holidays, socialise with friends, buy the things I need, as well as some things I don't need. It is all too easy to take that privilege for granted and forget those people in our society who can't even claim a roof over their heads for comfort. Two years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Scope, last year I was involved in fund raising to help support survivors of the Japanese Tsunami, so Action for Children is a good place for me to focus my attentions for the coming two years.

Do you think it's important for the tech industry/business world to support such

good causes?

Most companies will support good causes in one way or another. Their reasons can be mixed, i.e. for publicity, for their shareholder CSR report, or because they genuinely do care. This is not just limited to the tech industry.

I think the more important thing is how we can get the employees of those businesses to contribute and support. How much better for the employees of the company to be supporting a good cause, understanding what it is about and actively participating, than the company finance team writing out a cheque.

What one gadget will you be taking with you on the night?

I was going to say that I am not that much of a gadget person, then I thought should I take my Kindle, maybe my iPad. I will go with the MP3 player, or just settle with my Blackberry OK, it will just be the Blackberry.

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