Typical 24: Ian Finlay, Abiquo

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…

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Ian Finlay

 Job title: Chief Operating Officer

 Company: Abiquo

 Location: London, UK

 Years’ experience: 30+



1.      What time do you reach the office each day?
I work from home, so any time from 7am depending on when the dog wants to go out.


2.      Is your job varied?
Oh yes, never a dull moment! Helping customers, talking to prospects, product design and strategy, writing web content and more.

3.      Is your job creative?
Yes, very creative! I’m always working on lots of proposals, solution design, web and PR content as well as videos. Plus, I’m lucky to work with some of the most innovative and creative minds in the cloud industry.

4.      What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
It all depends on the day really, but mostly ensuring we give our customers great service, and also getting prospects excited about hybrid cloud management software!

5.      Do you personalise your desk?
Not particularly, but it’s in my home office where I’m surrounded by my personal possessions.

6.      Would you describe yourself as creative?
I believe so, yes. I need to be able to keep pace with the way the cloud industry is evolving. I’ve been doing this a long time now and keeping an open mind and constantly looking for new ways to do things is what keeps me engaged and enthusiastic.  

7.      Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
Not that I can think of…

8.      Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
I work on my own as well as with colleagues. I spend a large part of the day using Skype and IM, as well as on the phone and email.

9.      How many hours on average do you work a day?
I would say I work 8-12 hours a day. Abiquo has customers from Australia and west coast U.S., and has partners in India and the Middle East. The working day therefore moves around a lot due the time differences.

10.   Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email?Taking calls? In meetings?
At least half of every day.

11.   Do you use social media much for work?
For PR, yes, and LinkedIn is great as a research and communication tool.

12.   What do you enjoy most about your work?
Seeing the eyes of battle-hardened IT guys light up when we show them our solution.

13.   What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
I don’t. As a musician I find background music distracting – I end up focussing on it as opposed to work.

14.   What do you do for lunch?
Raid the fridge.

15.   Do you socialise with work colleagues?
When we’re together, yes.

16.   Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of? Windows upgrades. Ugh.

17.   What is your last task of your day?
Making sure all customer enquiries have been responded to.

18.   How do you like to relax after work?
I play Badminton, I’m in a couple of bands and I muck about with old cars. Walking the dog in the woods is relaxing, and when that’s done there’s always TV and the internet.

19.   Do you keep checking email through the evening?

20.   Do you take work projects home with you?
I work at home. Yes.

21.   What would you say to your 20-year old self?
That would be unprintable.

22.   If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
Hmm. Lottery winner. Is that a job? Otherwise, a racing car mechanic.

23.   What device did you use to answer these questions?
A mid-2010 MacBook Pro

24.   Do you use your own personal device for work?