Q&A: Alan Shields, Cambridgeshire County Council

We speak to the IT strategy and architecture team manager - and Leader Board panelist - about effectively supporting his business.

What was your first IT job?

It was as a System Administrator for a multi-user SCO Unix system using Wyse VT100 terminal for a large Quantity Surveying and Project Management practice in central London. 

The secret to IT is not the technology itself but the ability to understand how it can be used. Never forget that. 

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

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

In 1981, I saved up my Saturday job pay and brought a ZX81, so where do I start?! IT is now part of the fabric of life and business and there is less fear about technology than when I started. 

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

A passion about what IT can achieve and good communication skills. Everything else can be picked up on the way.

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

This is interesting as my son is currently studying computing at college. The secret to IT is not the technology itself but the ability to understand how it can be used. Never forget that. 

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

Advertisement - Article continues below

The currenty economic downturn. Although this can have its positive side as many companies are looking to IT to make themselves more effective. However, that still requires some upfront investment, which may not be available.

What technologies/trends are you currently watching and why?

Cloud, consumerisation, BYOD, mobile computing, Big Data... 

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


Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020