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Q&A: Steve Harvey, Reed Elsevier

The director of middleware - and member of our Leader Board - details the importance of people when it comes to IT.

LITS co-ordinator in the RAF. The first real job in IT would have been as Senior Helpdesk Technician, Templeton College, Said Business School, Oxford University.

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

Speed, capacity of systems and storage systems, user experience and technological expectations around what technology and IT can accomplish.

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

Not IT skills these can always be learned and taught. Empathy and the ability to communicate seem to be skills that equip most people for success when they have covered their IT basics.

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

Don't expect to come in at the highest levels - most IT departments are hierarchical and will expect you to have served time doing the basics.

Qualifications in IT will open the door for you, but your experience, knowledge and ability to get results are what will keep you there.

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

From my perspective, the competition between in-house cloud offerings and commercial cloud offerings in terms of competing on a cost point basis.

What technologies/trends are you currently watching and why?

HPCC, Big data technologies, open source alternatives to "big box" products as we drive to open standards and interoperability in systems, especially in cloud architectures.

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

BYOD/CYOD the conversation has raged around this.

The merits and pros and cons are well understood I believe, but the real challenge of managing corporate data loss and ownership of data continues to cause struggles in legal departments.

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