Nigel Beighton is the international vice president of technology for hosting company Rackspace, responsible for delivering the firm's products.
Beighton also drives the OpenStack community internationally, a community co-founded and hosted by Rackspace, which offers those in the IT industry an open-source cloud computing platform alternative to the proprietary technology available from firms like VMware. Recently the firm announced it would build and manage cloud computing infrastructure for service providers, in a bid to promote the OpenStack platform.
Before Rackspace, Beighton has most recently worked as the group chief technology office for Associated Northcliffe Digital, covering the group's digital businesses including FindaProperty, Prime Location, and Teletext. Over the past ten years Nigel has served as the CTO for lastminute.com and was also the director of enterprise strategy for Symantec.
Murray's Hot Seat follows on from a host of leading industry figures ranging from government operating officer Stephen Kelly to Hotels.com chief technology officer Stuart Silberg.
V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?
Nigel Beighton: I'd really love to work as a research engineer on a Hadoop open source big data project. We're only just starting to understand now how we can process huge volumes of data and so this is a really cutting edge area that I would love to be involved in – there is so much we can do to benefit the world with all that big data out there.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
I use an iPad and I'm a huge user of so many great apps. When it comes to phones I actually have three; I have an Android unit and a Windows phone and an iPhone. But if I have to come back to one unit again and again it is the iPhone, because I'm really into my photography and I tend to use it a lot, as it's generally always the thing that I have in my hand. They do say that the best camera is the one that's with you at any moment, after all.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
Obviously there are many people in IT who have made massive changes to the way we work with technology, but I keep a special place in my heart two people. Alan Turing – because of what he did in terms of helping to start this industry and also help win the second world war – and secondly the American computer scientist Dennis Ritchie for his work in the early days of computing.
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