Recently, Host in Ireland Founder and President Garry Connolly conducted a video interview for Host News with Jim Rice, the newest addition to the organisation’s Advisory Council. A Chartered Engineer with more than three decades of experience in the Irish technology industry, including 16 years as Country President of Schneider Electric in Ireland, Jim Rice is currently the Non-Executive Chairman of Sirus Engineering, which provides HVAC, electrical and controls services to data centres, airline, healthcare, life sciences and retail companies across Ireland and mainland Europe. During their conversation, Jim discussed the challenge of technology integration to further enhance the data hosting industry.

“A big challenge that we see throughout the data centre community is the integration of mechanical, electrical and IT technologies,” Jim commented. “Today we talk about the Internet of Things, which has only been made possible through successful technology integration. It has been a challenge to identify people with the skills and knowledge to achieve these goals.”

Jim also addressed the fact that the perception of the data hosting industry in Ireland is often skewed.

“The perception is that data storage is the main function of a data centre. However, when we look at it this way, the size of that storage appears disproportionate to the land it occupies and the power it consumes,” he added. “What people do not realize is the ripple effect that a data centre has on a community. We need to start recognizing data as an asset and an export, building a new perception around the hosting industry.”

Jim also expressed his excitement to join the Host in Ireland Executive Committee as he discussed the importance of the initiative’s mission to not only educate the industry but help shape its future.

“It’s important for us as an industry to have a roadmap that will help shape our global reputation,” he explained. “It’s fine to keep promoting our industry and showing what we are capable of, but it’s also important to take an introspective approach to explore what we want to achieve through different efforts.”

To watch Garry Connolly’s interview with Host in Ireland Executive Committee member Jim Rice in its entirety, click here.