WE ‘ DEEP DIVE ’ WITH STEPHEN LORIMER , GROUP TECHNICAL DIRECTOR , KEYSOURCE , WHO TELLS US ABOUT LIFE
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE .
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry ?
In my relatively short time in the industry ( getting on for 20 years now ) I have worked on some great projects across the world . However , the one thing that sticks out for me is the people . I have seen a lot of people join our team with little or no experience in data centres who have gone on to become experts in their own right . I ’ ve had the chance to help coach them and I like to think that in some way I have been able to influence their development positively and contribute to their success .
What first made you think of a career in technology / data centres ?
As a child I was always fascinated with how things work . One Christmas when I was about 10 years old my parents had saved up to buy me a small TV and I was extremely inquisitive about how plugging something into the wall outlets could get an image on the screen . I recall ‘ taking the back off ’ of this old 14 ” CRT TV , sitting on the floor and plugging it in , completely oblivious to the dangers of a fully charged high-voltage capacitor . I won ’ t forget the look on my mother ’ s face as she walked into my bedroom to see the tv on the floor in bits , but I did manage to successfully reassemble it .
At school I took an avid interest in the more practical science and technology subjects and worked in the electronics industry during my holidays . After completing my engineeringbased degree , I didn ’ t know what I wanted to do . I answered a job advert for a data centre sales engineer role not knowing whether I ’ d be programming a PC , building a network or designing the next state-of-the-art facility for Yahoo or MSN . As it turned out , I had joined a soaring industry at a really exciting point in time with a multitude of opportunities .
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position ?
While it ’ s important to be the technical expert , it ’ s even more important to know about your people . How you bring a team together , how you communicate , how you seek to understand one another and how you help them to understand their role is critical to ensure the success of the team and ultimately , the outcome .
Self-awareness , responsibility , motivation and empathy are all things I try to focus on and I always try to start by listening effectively and looking to understand what the person is actually thinking .
What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space ?
Climate Change and sustainability as a whole is currently and will continue to be one of the most ( if not the most ) important topics in our industry . As a result , traditional focuses and drivers to optimise energy consumption solely for commercial benefit will need to be steered by the climate and societal emergency we face .
I am passionate about how we as an industry can strive to address these challenges through better design , engineering , operation and wider mutual collaboration across the whole life cycle . We are rightly in the sights for wider reporting and regulatory compliance and for an industry that is already significantly , if indirectly , regulated this is a challenge , and in a
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