SAP frequently makes V3 headlines, particularly recently with the overhaul of its cloud computing strategy, its move into big data analytics, its plans to grow its stake in the database market, and its launch of new types of business applications for mobiles. This is not to mention the string of acquisitions the German software firm has been picking up in the past six months.
It has been a time of change for SAP and in the midst of it, Adrian Simpson was appointed the new chief technology officer for the firm's UK division. His title has since been changed to UK chief innovation officer and Simpson takes to V3's Hot Seat this week to discuss his own views on the IT market, as well as his past career and his personal likes and dislikes.
Prior to his new appointment in April, Simpson focused on SAP's Netweaver portfolio for almost five years, before spending four years leading a team of technical solution architects at SAP within the UK.
V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?
Adrian Simpson: It was always my ambition to be the chairman of a large public sector organisation, such as railways, health or something similar. In such a role, it is clear where you can make an impact and change things for the better.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
I mostly use the Apple iPhone 4, but I also use the iPad for work, the Blackberry Playbook for internet browsing, and the iPod when I want to listen to music at the gym.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
This goes back a few years but I admire Clive Sinclair for his work on home computers in the 1980's. Sinclair brought true consumerism to the computer.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
The mobile phone. I remember getting my first mobile phone back in the 1990's and I can't imagine living without it now. If I get a flat battery during the day I feel totally disconnected.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Being promoted into management and being able to change peoples' views of themselves - showing them what they are truly capable of.
What was your first job?
I was a computer programmer at a tiny software house in Bristol. It was five minute walk from where I lived and I really didn't appreciate that.
What's your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
The constant stream of new toys to play with, which just seems to be accelerating.
What will be the next big innovation of the coming years?
The Internet of Things, which will see everything connected and communicating with each other. So your fridge will order more wine as and when required.
What was the last book you read and was it any good?
I am currently reading "The Hunger Games" and have been really enjoying it. It gives a terrible view of the future but has enough truth to be scarily possible.
Do you prefer e-readers or real books?
Real books. This may sound weird for an IT gadget person but there is something very tactile about the turning of a page and the smell of paper.
Do you use Twitter, Facebook or Google+?
Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for work.
If you want to volunteer for V3's Hotseat, or want to suggest an IT leader you think should take part, please email [email protected] for more details.
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