Our associate, digital transformation specialist and DevOps evangelist, Ray Gearing, is passionate about technology and making a difference. Read on to find out how he visualises the post-pandemic future for businesses, and how he feels the industry must help to bring the reality of the tech-industry into schools to help nurture the next generation of IT talent… 
“My first computer was a Commodore Vic-20. I became interested in technology from a young age and have always been fascinated with its capabilities and the impact it constantly makes to the world around us. I truly enjoy the task of incorporating the practical application of technology into business and everyday life. 
“Before the pandemic, I was already familiar with remote meetings and occasional working from home. I have been very lucky to work in an industry that can adapt to increased home working quickly. I’m fortunate to live in the countryside with lots of space around me; when the lockdown happened, I really appreciated my home and surroundings for the first time. That said, once the novelty had worn off and cabin fever set in, I realised it was important to create a balance, so I am looking forward to meeting people in the office more regularly going forward. 
“Throughout the pandemic, I have found colleagues very supportive and adaptive to the situation. We’ve all had to learn new skills in interaction and discipline ourselves from endless video calls. What felt like “working from home” now feels like “living at work”, but there is a great network of support available which is great to see to get us all through this. 
“We are already seeing a large reduction in offices that are permanently occupied. Moving forward, I think workplaces will be more of a location to meet for a specific purpose rather than sit at a desk and do what you can do from home - which makes sense. In a way it will make the world a smaller place, with more online collaboration across different geographies, which were not always viable, but now proven to work out of necessity. There just needs to be a balance and understanding from businesses. 
“I think Iridium’s model of working with specialists based on clients’ changing requirements is the future. Whatever happens from hereon in, businesses will always need a flexible and dynamic workforce that can adapt to their ever-changing needs. 
“I am hoping that things will get back to normal soon, but the long term impact of the pandemic won't be known for some time. Our industry has been least affected, and I feel for those less fortunate, especially the younger generation with what has been a difficult year for education and gaining those invaluable experiences through human interaction. 
“Speaking of young people, I feel the challenges of enticing the next generation of IT professionals is a tricky one. Despite loving their laptops, phones and gadgets, my own children have no interest in a career in technology (even with lots of encouragement from me), and see it as very geeky and un-cool. We need to bring the reality of IT into schools more, and de-mystify the industry to make it more attractive and accessible.” 
To discover how you could become part of Iridium’s associate network, contact ben.dainton@ir77.co.uk. 
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