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The V3 Hot Seat: Cisco UK chief technology officer Ian Foddering

18 Sep 2012

ian-foddering-cisco-chief-technology-officerIan Foddering is the chief technology officer and technical director for Cisco UK and Ireland. His key role is to help customers and partners understand how Cisco technology can bring benefits to their organisations.

Foddering has worked at Cisco for 13 years, first starting out in 1999 as a systems engineer. Previously he was a systems engineer for Nortel for four years. Foddering graduated from Portsmouth University with a degree in communications systems engineering.

Foddering follows other IT industry luminaries in the Hot Seat, including Canonical chief executive Jane Silber and Salesforce chief scientist JP Rangaswami.

What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?

My dream job would be as a sailing instructor, I love the outdoors and adventure, together with having a real fascination for cartography, so the idea of teaching people to sail seems like a great combination.

Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?

iPhone 4, and iPad 2. Both of which are set up such that they are fully integrated into the corporate network, to enable me quick and easy (yet secure) access.

Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?

Mark Zuckerberg. This is someone that has developed a web site, a society changing application, that has over 900m active users. If the company was a country, it would be the third largest in the world after China and India. Post IPO aside, the way Zuckerberg developed and grew Facebook is hugely impressive.

Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?

The laptop or mobile phone would seem the obvious answer and while undeniably they have had a huge impact on my working life, the key that makes them so powerful, is the network. And I am not just saying that because I work for Cisco, the world would be a hugely different place without the internet.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

Something which a lot of people got excited about up and down the country was the London 2012 Olympics. Cisco has been the network infrastructure supporter for London 2012, and it has been extremely exciting getting involved with such a unique and electrifying project.

It is not just about the networking infrastructure, but also about the legacy.

Our British Innovation Gateway (BIG), announced in January, allows me to work alongside entrepreneurs and startups. In addition to the BIG programme, we are also using the Olympic and Paralympics to create a curriculum with the Pearson Foundation to excite and connect approximately 2.5 million students, and give them a different perspective on topics such as science and maths.

So to answer your question, I believe the highlight of my career is happening now.

What was your first job?

I worked for the professional services arm of Nortel, in a business called Cogent, based out of Harlow. I was fortunate enough to be able to literally travel the world with it, although it does get a little tiresome after a while living out of a suitcase. Telepresence was just a pipe dream.

 

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