Focus Friday is our weekly column, exploring how people across Europe use Microsoft technology to help them at work and home.
Today, we speak with Nick McQuire from Twickenham in the UK about his life as Vice President and Head of Enterprise Research at CSS Insight, and how he uses technology to manage everything in his life remotely – from work and banking, and even his health.
What are you responsible for?
All of CCS Insight research on the enterprise, including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Digital Workplace, developer services and IT security.
What inspires you?
Many things and above all, my family. But in a work context, I just really enjoy learning about how firms apply new technologies to change how they work and to succeed in their markets.
Growing up, what was the first piece of technology that changed your life?
By far, the mobile phone. It gave me my first real sense of autonomy and independence – particularly because I had never owned a car.
How has technology helped with your professional and personal development?
Having moved around a lot in my life, technology has definitely acted as a means for staying connected to my loved ones around the world. From a work perspective, tech has provided me with the ability to have more control over my time and how I work. I believe this ability to dictate how and when I work has always ensured that I really enjoy my job as well.
In your current job, what tech and tools do you find most useful?
As I am out and about a lot, mobile and collaboration tools first and foremost. They help me stay connected with clients when I’m on the move. Perhaps more unexpectedly, Twitter is also really important. As an analyst, I use it to stay on top of current news and see it as one of my main information sources.
How has technology transformed how you work?
Technology has allowed me to stay better connected with colleagues and clients. This has ultimately improved my productivity on the one hand, but I believe it has also in helped me deliver more valuable work to my clients and customers as well.
Outside of work, what technologies are essential to how you live?
I am a type 1 diabetic so the magic of new apps has meant my mobile phone now acts as my blood glucose monitor. But it is also my music library, wallet, and communication lifeline – WhatsApp is the platform to communicate with my friends and family.
What one piece of advice do you have for people using technology every day?
What does the future of technology look like to you?
Whilst there are many challenges to overcome – such as disinformation, privacy and ethical challenges with the advancement of technology – I’m optimistic about what the future holds. I think the great positive of tech advancement will be that future technology will become more helpful. When applied correctly, AI will be hugely assistive for people from every nation, background, and digital ability. I believe it also has the potential to contribute towards solving some of society’s greatest problems, which is a hugely exciting prospect!
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