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60 Seconds With: Gary Tierney, HP UK & I Printing Director.

What’s currently having the greatest impact on your business?

Our ‘reinvention mission’, put in place to guide the new HP. This consists of innovating in our ‘core’ businesses – our personal systems and printing divisions – and using the success there to drive our ‘growth’ and ‘future’ sectors.

This approach has led to us – amongst other things – entering the lucrative eSports industry through our OMEN gaming sub-brand, to our shake-up of the A3 copier market, to creating new immersive VR computing solutions, and to the inception of our 3D printing business which aims to disrupt the manufacturing industry from the bottom-up.

Where do you see the next big opportunity?

We’ve formalised our long-term forecasting process into a body of work called ‘Megatrends’, which identify the global technological, economic and social currents that are influencing how people will live in the future. These megatrends fit in to four main areas: rapid urbanisation, changing demographics, hyper globalisation and accelerated innovation.

We’d need a much longer interview to explain these in full, however, all four are already impacting the world of work – requiring us to be more flexible, efficient and secure.

Taking a more short-to-medium term view, we have developed our ‘Office of the Future’ vision to help the businesses of today adapt to these changes. This is where I see the biggest opportunity for tech firms such as ourselves.

Let’s take PCs as an example – our EliteBook family of laptops are light, have great battery life and are packed with world-leading security features. This enables employees to work securely from anywhere, as the future of work will demand.

We have launched Device as a Service (DaaS) to help IT managers manage a more mobile workforce and contend with the sheer number of connected devices – estimated at 9 billion commercial units by 2020. DaaS allows businesses to offload the time and expense involved with acquiring, deploying and managing IT infrastructure via traditional transactional methods.

Even at a vertical level, we’re innovating with these bigger trends in mind. Our Z-VR Backpack is giving designers and engineers a true immersive computing solution. Our Retail-Point-of-Sale systems are giving retailers the flexibility and security to create cashless environments for the modern customer, and our range of education-PCs are empowering teachers to deliver techenhanced learning experiences.

What would make your day job easier?

As I hope the above shows, I work in an industry that is highly competitive and dynamic, where the only constant is change. That is a double edged sword, sometimes it brings excitement, sometimes stress… If anyone has the secret to reconciling the two and forming a happy medium, then please reach out. I’m all ears!

What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?

Recognise that people are your greatest asset. And also: eat your own lunch before someone else does.

If you had had a crystal ball, would you have done anything differently?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way in my career but learned from each and every one of them. Never waste a crisis!!!

Describe your most embarrassing moment

Plenty of them, both personally and professionally but not many I’d be willing to share! I have a classic conference call story I’m sure many will associate with. Many years ago, in the early days of conference calls, I’d forgotten to put myself on mute during a call with my boss and a wider group of peers across the world. Half way through I started to explain to someone who had walked into the meeting room how useless the call I was on was, and what I thought of it in general – to then have my boss remind me I needed to go on mute!!

What was your first job?

Working in a warehouse for an SME company in the electronic/circuit board industry.

What would be your dream job?

Professional golfer (along with the required skills to compete).

Fine dining and good wine, or curry and a pint?

Curry and a pint.

How do you like to spend your spare time?

With family and friends.

Favourite holiday destination?

Generally anywhere with a hot climate, but for sheer options of things to do, then the US.

Money’s not an issue, what’s your perfect car… and where would you like to drive it?

I’m pretty practical and not really a car fanatic. At my mid-life crisis stage I’d probably say a Maserati but really deep down an Audi Q7 would do me just fine. Solid and reliable.

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