Centre stage with Aidan Finn, Principal Consultant, Innofactor Norway.
Born – I live in County Kildare in Ireland, a short commute from Dublin.
Studied / Education background – I received a BSc in Computer Science from Waterford Institute of Technology, with a focus on software development. After graduation, I joined a company called Amdahl, and moved over to the world of the IT pro for the subsequent two years.
Current role / bio – I’m Principal Consultant with Innofactor Norway, specialising in Azure infrastructure solutions. I’m also the managing director of Cloud Mechanix, a company delivering custom-written Azure training in Europe. I am an 11-year Microsoft Valuable Professional, part of a team of elite Microsoft experts, currently in the Azure discipline.
Who do you work for and what does your role entail?
I work remotely for a consulting and services company called Innofactor. I’m a part of the Cloud Platform Infrastructure team, working on Azure infrastructure solutions. Part of my time is spent on some internal business development work, and the rest is spent with customers who are either migrating to The Cloud or want to improve their Azure deployments.
What made you choose IT as a career?
I was always drawn to technology; I borrowed books on computers long before I could even get one! I liked the ability to build, create, and connect without limitations. I thought I wanted to be a developer but I got bored of that world in my final year of college. My first job out of college gave me a chance to change my role & skill set and the rest is history.
What do you think is required to be successful in IT?
The keys to my career have been a willingness to change and to learn. In my early career I reacted to change and that left me without a job for a while. Since then, I’ve deliberately put myself at the pointy end of the spear and that worked out well for me when Microsoft started to compete in virtualisation and in the early days of partner involvement in The Cloud. These days, change is constant, and if you cannot “learn how to learn” then you will be left behind. I deliberately put time aside to read and learn, and to follow the best in our business.
What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
The most impressive thing that I have done in the last year is something I am working on right now with a colleague … and I cannot tell you anything about it yet!
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
A friend and mentor of mine is Mark Minasi, a well-known technology writer & educator in the world of Windows. One of Mark’s many lessons was to teach & present as if no one in the room knows the content. Tell a story from the start to the end, and bring everyone with you.
What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2019/20 or beyond?
Cloud Cloud Cloud! The pace is accelerating. Those who went to AWS/Azure for point solutions are now looking at their data centres and are thinking about moving as much as possible. My advice is, yes, consider that, but get back to the basics of how The Cloud works before you do … it’s the little things that catch you out.
Join Aidan Finn at IP EXPO Manchester, 3-4 April 2019
“Storage, along with networking, is one of the foundations of The Cloud. There are many ways to do storage in the cloud. Deciding what is right for your deployment can be confusing. If you come to my session at IP EXPO, I will help you navigate the Azure storage maze and make the decisions easy.”