When Kevin Swainson immigrated to New Zealand from the UK 22 years ago, he could never imagine how involved in the IT industry he would be today.
Swainson is Connector Systems’ general manager for security and telecommunications business.
But his career started off in the aviation industry, and if not for the circumstances of his life steering him and his wife to emigrate here he would have become a pilot.
“We wanted to buy a house and couldn’t afford one in the UK and I had a brother living in New Zealand so we decided to come here,” recalls Swainson. The newlyweds settled in Auckland and never looked back. They have built a home and raised three children in their adopted country.
“I have travelled extensively through my job and although I have never lived in any other countries, I know that it is hard to find another country that has so much going for it.” For Swainson it isn’t a matter of how much money can be made, as salaries can be higher overseas. It is, however, about the lifestyle and the opportunities that New Zealand offers.
He has been with Connector Systems for about 10 months and says his broad knowledge of his area, along with his passion for dealing with people – partners or customers – are part of what make him a good fit for his role.
“My day-to-day work is about working with partners and customers and educating them on the vendors we represent,” he says. This new routine is a shift from his technical early days, but one that Swainson is glad to have made.
Prior to joining Connector Systems, Swainson’s IT career took him through roles in Renaissance and McAfee, to name a couple. Security has been a big part of his career within those companies and it is important for him to stay up to date. One of the ways to do this is through certifications and Swainson is currently going through the steps to get Brocade certification.
“The fundamentals are the same they were 20 years ago, but security has become much more complex.”
For Swainson, it is important to not only be on top of what is happening, but also to be able to know what is important and what is a mere trend that will soon be replaced with another.
“I have a chuckle to myself every time I hear people talk about cloud computing as if it’s something new. It has been around for years, just with different names,” he claims.
“There is a lot of information out there. The key is to take on information without being bulked down by details.”
For the GM, one of the key questions to ask yourself is “how long is this going to be the hot topic for?”
In his quest to stay informed and to keep partners and customers better informed, Swainson says his is not a regular nine-to-five job and that is one of the things he enjoys about the role.
He believes there are many big things coming our way when it comes to technology and the IT business, both globally and in New Zealand, and, because of those, “it is an exciting time to be in IT”.