My initial career choice was far from the glamorous world of IT. I gained a Law degree from Trent Polytechnic and then moved on to the College of Law in Guildford. Whilst doing articles at Shoosmiths Law firm in Reading, I started to feel that I wasn’t playing to my strengths and began to question whether a career in Law was really for me.
Around the same time in the early 90’s, the IT market was growing at a phenomenal pace and was having a huge impact on the way businesses were working. I was intrigued by this technical revolution and started to think that IT was an industry in which I could really thrive.
This feeling was only encouraged further when I saw that most of my friends who worked in the industry were travelling the world, earning a considerable amount of commission and driving the latest supercars!
I made the decision to leave Shoosmiths in 1994 and joined an IT company called Memory Technology. Within six months of joining, I was transferred to its sister company, Shuttle Technology, in San Francisco, where I worked for two years.
After my wonderful stint working in the Californian sunshine, I returned to England to get married and spent another year working for Memory Technology, building important relationships with Japanese companies such as Olympus, Fujitsu and Panasonic. It was around this time I felt that I needed a new challenge and decided to set up my own company to prove I could make it on my own.
After making the decision to break away and start up a new business, Tony Ruane and I founded Redstor in 1998 and we never looked back. Redstor is now a leading supplier of cloud services and data protection solutions. It has a strong presence in the Education Market, partnering with over 85 service providers with its Redstor Backup Service for Schools (RBUSS) addressing over 10,000 schools in the UK.
A typical day
I have a management team who deal with the day-to-day running of Redstor so I tend not to get involved with that side of the business. Aside from the various client and board meetings, a typical day for me involves checking that all of the systems that we provide are safe and available in order to maintain continued growth and excellent customer service to our clients and customers.
In addition, I play a motivational role at Redstor by encouraging and coaching team members to achieve company goals. I also work closely with the sales team to ensure that they are meeting sales targets and producing the expected level of customer satisfaction.
What I enjoy most about my job
The best thing about being the Managing Director of Redstor is watching members of the team grow and develop. There’s nothing more satisfying than coaching and inspiring people to help them bring new ideas to life.
What I would like to achieve in the future
I would like to continue investing in new people and companies. In 2007/8 we invested in a great management team at one of our partner companies, Centrastage. They are now thriving and achieved a monumental 300% growth last year, I would like to emulate that success in other companies.
I am also very active within the local community, coaching youth football and cricket teams. I would love to continue to develop this, and help to get more young people from the local community involved in sports.
Advice for anyone wanting to get into the IT industry
As with any job, be true to yourself; it’s no good being a square peg in a round hole. You should aim for a role in IT that coincides with your nature and plays to your strengths, therefore ultimately enjoying your role.
At Redstor, we are always on the lookout for people with a strong work ethic who posses a ‘can do’ attitude. The sort of individual that will prosper in this industry is someone that takes ownership and responsibility over their work and makes things happen.