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Meet James Wolf, head of data centre at BT iNet

James Wolf Q&A

James Wolf is head of data centre, where he is responsible for defining the go-to-market strategy for BT iNet’s Private Cloud, virtual desktop and management of solutions. He is also the company’s lead for solutions-based sales and in the management of new vendors, as well as the prioritisation of bids and the development of BT iNet’s data centre related roadmaps.

How did you become involved in the industry?

From the age of 11 or 12 I knew I wanted to work with computers. I got my first job at the age of 19 as a server admin for a small ISP and it snowballed from there.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

An old boss who gave me a lot of great advice in the relatively short time we worked together. Without me realising it at the time, he taught me how to approach challenges and make difficult decisions – those lessons have been invaluable to me as my career has progressed.

What is the biggest issue in the data centre at the moment?

I think the biggest issue right now is the cost and availability of energy. It’s higher than it’s ever been and looks like it’s only going in one direction. Businesses are having to re-evaluate the way they deploy technology to ensure that they are getting the most out of the energy their systems are consuming.

What is the question you are asked most often in your business life?

Did you show that shirt to an iron?

What are the best/worst things about your job?

The best part is watching my team grow and flourish as we become more successful at designing and deploying some really interesting and transformational technologies – it’s a really exciting time at the moment. The worst is probably the difficult decisions that don’t always have a “right” answer, and often have to be made with only half of the information!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Try to get involved in as much as possible and spend time getting experience in as many areas as you can – it’s a really broad industry and it’s worth finding out whay you really enjoy before settling into a specialisation.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

Bill gate, not necessarily for what he did for the computing world (contentious I’m sure!) but because he’s now applying his innate curiosity and massive resources to some really great causes – he has done a lot to redefine what philanthropy amongst the world’s wealthiest people should look like.

Where would you like to live?

I’m pretty happy in the Cotswolds – I grew up in a city and whilst I miss some parts of my city life, I can’t think of a much nicer place to bring up a family than where I am at the moment.

What’s your ideal holiday?

Assuming good weather I think it’s hard to find many places nicer than the Cornish coast, or The Gower Peninsula – I’m a big fan of holidays in the UK. A nice beach, some good books, and quality time with the family is about all I hanker after in a holiday.


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