Q&A: Peter Ransom, Oxfam

We speak to Oxfam's CIO - and a member of the IT Pro Leaderboard - about green IT and what tech life is like for a non-profit.

How has the world of IT changed since you first started in the sector? 

I think the proliferation of SaaS and many low-cost services aimed at end users has shifted the challenge into data management and integration as the governance of classic IT blurs.

What do you think are the most important skills people wanting to enter the IT job market should have nowadays?  

Be Flexible and have good customer interaction skills. Most IT people will be dealing with an end user on a regular basis soon.

What advice would you give someone thinking of entering the IT jobs market/your younger self? 

You may think there are bigger plans, but there rarely are, so have your own medium-term targets, self belief and a vision. However, you should also remain pragmatic and flexible on timing. Overall, give yourself options.

What is the biggest challenge facing IT professionals at the moment? 

It depends on the size of your estate, but for large operations it is governance of applications and data.  Integrating systems and managing data flows securely and appropriately across a variety of business units will just get more complex due to SaaS-type products.

What technologies/trends are you currently watching and why? 

Desktop virtualisation and application packaging alongside cloud delivery of applications because it's not ubiquitous but offers much.

Conversely, what current technology/trend are you not interested in and why? 

Green data centres as we are getting out of owning them and would rather pass that opportunity to our partners. 

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