It’s no secret that the global tech sector is advancing at an astonishingly rapid pace – not least in relation to the now integral role of digital transformation in spearheading growth and success. But no matter the size or scope of your organisation – or how sophisticated your innovation strategy is – the only way to drive significant change is to leverage the power of people.

So, to champion some of the industry’s finest talent, and gain insight into the minds of individuals from across the tech space, we’re inviting friends and partners of the business to take part in our quickfire Q&A.

Up next, it’s Richard May, CEO of virtualDCS...

Tell us about your role at virtualDCS and the part you play in the tech sector.

virtualDCS is a Channel-first cloud service provider, enabling IT professionals to deliver holistic disaster recovery and infrastructure services.

As CEO, I spend much of my time working on designing new, innovative ways to deliver Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). These award-winning solutions are built on industry-leading software, such as Veeam, and our CloudCover suite ensures customers have access to market-leading services and stay ahead of the curve. 

What innovation was the turning point for your organisation, to get it to where you are now?

Our business has been built on innovation since its inception in 2008. However, one thing that sticks in my mind is Veeam Cloud Connect, which was introduced to the market in 2015. This enabled us to deliver backup and disaster recovery solutions as cost-effective, multi-tenanted services.

The constantly expanding CloudCover suite includes a range of backup, disaster recovery, and infrastructure services, all enhanced with our own interpretation of how they should be delivered. These include protection for services such as Microsoft 365, Azure AD, Kubernetes, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

And where’s next for your business?

Now that we’ve established ourselves as Channel leaders in the backup and disaster recovery space, our core focus will be to retain this position, while continuing to build and grow alongside our partners, such as Vapour. This does not mean an end to innovation, however, as we will continue to release exciting new developments to the CloudCover services range. 

The biggest misconception faced by the tech sector is…

I still find it hard to believe that, despite organisations having a strong emphasis on backup, that restoration and recovery are still not a priority for many. 

If you have backed up 20TB of data off-site and have equipment to restore it too, this process will often take days, not hours. If you have had a ransomware attack, achieving a clean recovery can be a complex task and should not just be a ‘tick in a box’.

What do you think will be the biggest tech trend over the next 12 months?

AI will remain an area of growth in the next 12 months, as organisations scramble to work out how they can utilise it to grow and protect their business.

While many explore how to use AI for the greater good, at the same time, cyber-criminals will also be exploring how they can benefit from AI technology. I believe we’ll see more AI-driven cyber attacks over the next 12 months, meaning that backup and recovery as a defence mechanism will become more important than ever before.

What top tip would you give to an individual trying to excel in their tech career?

It sounds cliché, but think outside of the box. Information technology is a constantly evolving industry and you must evolve as much as it does. 

The next purchase on your personal tech wish list is…?

As my portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) continually expands, as geeky as it might sound, my next purchase will be an internet-enabled Weather Station.

And what is the earliest memory you have of tech in your life?

I’ve always been surrounded by technology in one way or another. My first memory has to be playing Star Trek on a Mainframe in 1976, on my Uncle’s dial-up terminal during Christmas at Grandma’s. I was six and the fascination never left.

What is one longstanding piece of tech that you are shocked is still used today?

Honestly, one of the first things that comes to mind is Windows XP! It amazes me how organisations and institutions that rely on sensitive data — such as hospitals, transportation companies and even retail stores — still work with an outdated platform. This itself brings additional risk. 

If you are without the internet for an hour, what would be the first activity you resort to, to pass the time?

Definitely walking or playing fetch with the dogs. Or maybe dusting off a DVD!