Host in Ireland Advisory Council Member Jim Rice is a Chartered Engineer and 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.
Jim has more than three decades of experience in the Irish technology sector, including 16 years as Country President of Schneider Electric Ireland, and as an Non-Executive Chairman of Sirus Engineering. of multiple Irish engineering and technology companies and trade organisations.
Host in Ireland Founder and President Garry Connolly recently spoke with Jim about his perspective on the current state of the data centre industry, as well as what he would like to accomplish as a partner of Host in Ireland.
Host in Ireland, Garry Connolly (HIR-GC) Question: I am very excited to welcome you as our newest strategic partner of Host in Ireland. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Jim Rice (JR) Answer: I’ve worked with Schneider Electric for 31 years, spending the last 16 as the Country President in Ireland. During this time, I gained a great deal of experience with significant exposure in the data centre industry as I became involved in projects on a day-to-day basis. Over the course of that time, I’ve witnessed the growth of the data centre industry and enjoyed an incredibly interesting learning experience.
HIR-GC Q: What is the most significant challenge you have witnessed throughout the data centre industry?
JR A: A big challenge that we see throughout the data centre community is the integration of mechanical, electrical and IT technologies. 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.
HIR-GC Q: What is the general perception of the Irish data centre industry?
JR A: 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. 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.
HIR-GC Q: What do you hope to accomplish as a Host in Ireland partner?
JR A: While we are in a fast-paced technology environment, it’s also important to focus on longer-term issues such as policies and public perceptions. It’s important for us as an industry to have a roadmap that will help shape our global reputation. It’s fine to keep promoting our industry and show 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.
HIR-GC Q: Thank you for your time today, Jim. To learn more about Host in Ireland, visit www.hostinireland.com.