Andrew Muir, FarrPoint Chief Executive

Written by Alan Robertson on 30 September 2015 in Feature

For the next 100 days, Connect will be running through our Tech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland. FarrPoint chief executive Andrew Muir features today 

Andrew Muir (@farrpoint)

Job Title/Organisation: Chief Executive, FarrPoint Ltd

What does your role involve?

I lead FarrPoint consultancy on a day to day basis which involves planning for further growth, identifying new business streams, finding excellent new resources, developing marketing initiatives and all the while maintaining financial stability. I am also involved in project delivery across a number of projects, either leading or as part of a wider FarrPoint team.

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

Recruitment of excellent people is always challenging. Consultancy requires a unique blend of technical, business and communication skills and finding that mix is not easy. At FarrPoint we are also keen to develop talent and help provide a source of future skills and our established links with academia help raise awareness.

We have employed graduates, encourage summer internships and are also supporting two employees through their PhDs at present which is all helping to develop  future skills.

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you've undertaken?

Improving digital connectivity across Scotland is a very rewarding area of work. I went to Alberta to investigate a model for rolling out fibre network across the province using the public sector as an anchor tenant and providing a truly open access infrastructure for commercial operators to use. I met with many government officials, internet service providers, end users and policymakers and the benefits of this model really struck home to me and I believe it is essential to learn from best practice elsewhere.

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

Improve career guidance at schools and help school children to understand the enormous possibilities there are in digital by bringing in industry experts to educate at every opportunity. At the other end we must make it a real embarrassment for senior management of organisations to admit they don’t use a computer.

Which new technology excites you the most?

It's not a new technology but I am excited about the opportunity that the rollout of fibre broadband can have across the country. It will be the underpinning infrastructure that will spur lots of new applications and services and connect homes and businesses to release economic potential and also help deliver public services.

Outside of telecoms but still in technology, coming from a coastal community in the north west highlands, I am excited about the possibilities around tidal energy which seems an obvious source of renewable energy.

What's your favourite app and why?

The Edinburgh bus app is very good as it addresses a need and does it well.

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

Greater awareness of cyber security and our individual responsibility to protect our data, given the stream of publicity in this area. I also hope to see some real examples of smart city developments that show direct benefit to public and business  through improved service delivery, and of course the continuing improvement in connecting our remote communities to broadband which will widen the economic potential across the country.

 

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