Q&A: Patricio Colombo, Jamie Oliver Ltd

We speak to the head of IT and systems about the hype surrounding cloud and why schools need a new approach to tech teaching.

Describe your role in three words.

Politics. Innovation. Strategy.

Who is your tech hero? And why?

It's a tricky one, and so difficult to pick a single person. Perhaps Tim Berners-Lee, Dennis Ritchie, Kahn and Cerf on the technical front, and Steve Jobs on the commercial side. Without people like them our jobs would look very different today.

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Innovation doesn't happen if you are looking at your email server operating. You need to get your mindset out of that and move towards looking at better, more productive ways to use your time.

What does your current role involve?

My current role involves looking after all of Jamie Oliver's business IT and systems - spanning media, retail, charity. My team still supoprts a few restaurants although most of them are now outsourced. I look after strategy for the group, keep an eye on the market for innovation and opportunities for us. I setup and follow the IT budget and run the team that implements and maintains the group's IT needs.

How did you arrive at your current role?

I used to manage IT for Hello magazine, and previously worked in IT, mainly as a team leader for software development and implementations in Argentina. Jamie offered a very interesting opportunity for a company that was about to embark on an incredible journey which took us to where we are today.

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Did you always want to work in IT?

Yes, since I was 12 years old. I remember as a kid watching the movie Tron and War Games, and thinking 'That's what I want to do!' So I did.

What do you enjoy most about your role/working in IT?

IT has allowed me to develop my technical side, but in the last few years, I've gained visibility of all aspects of the business. I now interact with and help all sorts of people with all sorts of backgrounds and needs, which is great. But I'm still in very close contact with technology.

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