Tim Russell

Chief Technologist - Modern Workspace

An expert in the Modern Workplace sector, Tim helps customers recognise how vital it is to adapt and pivot to the latest technology, giving them a picture of what the future could look like and how they can prepare for it.

About Tim

Tim started coding for the first time at 7 years old, and this was the beginning of a passion and love for technology and the things it can do. Tim’s work in various roles has given him a well-rounded level of experience. With a passion for fixing things and a very mechanically orientated mind, he started as a boat mechanic before moving into a purchasing role as a reseller supplying Macs to the UK, Mac Warehouse, and any other customer who had heard of them. But this was just the start of his journey in IT. 

Over the last 30 years, Tim’s worked in the high-pressure world of private banking at UBS, Credit Suisse, and Bank Paribas, before moving to the world of global telecoms providers with BT, Vodaphone, and most recently Microsoft. Here, Tim focused on how Microsoft Teams Calling and Collaboration were adopted and delivered in the UK through the Microsoft partner network.  

As technology has moved, so have Tim’s skillsets. He was originally a Meridian PABX engineer before moving on to dealer-board systems, voice-recording, and the plethora of equipment found in the turn-of-the-century communications rooms. He’s watched the analogue phone become the digital phone and seen voice-over IP transition to unified communications. From witnessing the speed and development of which the landscape changes, Tim knows how necessary it is to continually adapt and pivot to the latest technology. For Tim, technology is an enabler, but the goal should always be user equality and empowerment. 

Tim’s role as the CDW Chief Technologist for Modern Workplace focuses on three main activities: 

Firstly, helping customers understand what the future could look like and how they can prepare for it. This can be in face-to-face sessions or virtually; sometimes with an audience of many or one-to-one, all dependent on the outcome that is expected. Tim’s goal here is to help provide clarity and understanding with simple, outcome-based communication. 

Secondly, with the future in mind, what are the strategic directions CDW need to take to be ready to support our customers? CDW must consider developing skillsets, products, and capabilities that augment the future of the Modern Workspace. 

Lastly, the creation of outward facing material for public consumption, public speaking, blogs, podcasts, and all the externally facing material that can help inform customers about the technological developments CDW are monitoring and how we can see them impacting the decisions customers may soon need to make around investments and direction. 

  • 30 Years IT Experience

  • 2 Languages Spoken

  • 2,000+ Number of Participants Reached as a STEM Ambassador

"The Modern Workspace is key to enabling employees to achieve their best, securely and reliably." 

Tim Russell

FAQ's

What is Modern Workspace and why does it matter? 

Modern Workspace is the key to enabling employees to achieve their best, securely and reliably. When we think about enabling employees, it will nearly always start with the devices they use: the laptop, the tablet, the phone or the desktop, but that is the first step. When you look at these end-user devices, we need to consider identity, security, application delivery, connectivity, updates, and the list continues. All this falls into the Modern Workspace. 

How can we use Modern Workspace solutions and services at our organisation? 

Modern Workspace touches every organisation and can appear to be immensely complex. It’s relevant to where CDW looks to assist in unravelling the complexity and simplifying the delivery, consumption, and understanding of the Modern Workspace toolset in any organisation. 

What is the biggest trend in Modern Workspace in 2024?  

For 2024, there are two key areas: 

Employee attraction and retention 

Employee expectations have changed. They are more aware of their personal brand and how this affinity with an employer's values has become more heavily weighted in the decision-making process. Just providing tech has been replaced with employee choice and a focus on flexibility, enablement, and productivity. 

Consumption-based IT 

How we purchase, use, and update products and services in our personal lives is impacting how organisations view IT. We are a generation of technological consumers, and we expect corporate IT to be just as simple to consume from within. The ability to work anywhere from any device is an expectation from users; businesses need to understand how they can realise this in a secure and controlled manner. 

How do you keep up to date with the industry? 

There is no one source of information and it is very easy to get lost in the weeds when following one or another technological stream. I find the secret is to quickly decide if news around technology is a fad, a road map, or a revolution. From here it’s possible to then dig further and understand the nuts and bolts to help position this in the big picture. What may seem like the next big thing today could be overshadowed tomorrow; keeping it in balance and, to a degree, having a critical eye can help sort through these news feeds. 

How can my organisation get started on a Modern Workspace strategy?  

In all my conversations with customers, there is nearly always a single driver behind the meeting. Financial is often the main one, but it could be customer service, speed of growth, or overheads due to mergers and acquisitions. Regardless of the driver, the first question is always, where do you want to get to, and what outcome are you striving to achieve? Imagine you are playing football, and no one has defined the goal. I’m sure you can have some great ball skills and practice some tackling, but you will never have a target to aim for. Once you have a target, you must also decide how many goals you want to score, and how big your potential impact is.

You may notice that none of this is about addressing problems; if we get lost focusing on the problems, we will end up trying to fix them piecemeal and, without a defined goal, they will usually be the quickest, cheapest, and simplest fixes that win. When we look at the outcomes a business wants to achieve and the goals are clearly defined, it is then a lot easier to go back and take stock of where you are and what needs to pivot to the goal you have defined.

This may seem overly simple, but too often I hear conversations around fixing this or that immediate problem and although this may be pressing, these fixes must be aligned to a business outcome and be as forward-thinking as possible to ensure they become positive, valuable investments. 

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Contributions

  • Modern Workspace
Apr 04, 2024

Help, I Have a Hybrid Hangover!

This article is focused on the steps Tim sees that take you, your business, and your staff away from ‘hybrid work’ and closer to just ‘working’. Tim, like many others, has been a hybrid worker since long before it became fashionable.

  • Modern Workspace
Mar 14, 2024

Why Organisations Should Consider Upgrading Their Old Pcs

Why organisations should consider upgrading their old PCs. Tim Russell explains the threats behind using old hardware and software, and why organisations should consider updating their PCs for better cybersecurity and usability.

  • Modern Workspace
Mar 10, 2024

How Copilot Can Help You Work Smarter and Faster

How Copilot can help you work smarter and faster. Discover the capabilities of Microsoft’s Copilot, as Tim Russell demonstrates how Copilot can improve your efficiency.

  • Modern Workspace
Feb 28, 2024

Reporting on Your E2E Sustainability

Reporting on E2E Sustainability. Read Tim Russell’s approach to E2E sustainability and discover the true cost of employment to a business.

  • Modern Workspace
Jan 26, 2024

AI at the Unified Comms and Contact Centre Expo

An AI or UC and CC Expo? Read about Tim Russell’s experience at the UC and CC Expo in London, where AI was integral part of all of the UC and CC solutions.

  • Modern Workspace
Dec 20, 2023

Modern Workspace: Thriving in the Digital Age

Read this article on the Modern Workspace to discover why it's is important and how it can help organisations thrive in the modern age

  • Modern Workspace
Dec 18, 2023

The Role of IT in Organisations Must Change

Transform your business IT – be the guardian and supplier of data with cloud solutions. Your discretion, your IT experience.

  • Modern Workspace
Dec 12, 2023

What Have We Learnt About Hybrid Working?

Hybrid working is the new norm. Read on to discover the benefits of hybrid working and how tech can improve the Modern Workspace and make hybrid working easier.

  • Modern Workspace
Nov 29, 2023

The Immersive Tech Innovation Roadshow by TechUK

Tim Russell gives his thoughts on the recent tech innovation show by techUK; covering virtual reality, augmented reality, and whether these technologies promote equity and inclusion.

  • Modern Workspace
Nov 20, 2023

Microsoft Ignite 2023: Copilot, Fabric and Teams Announcements

Read Tim Russell's Microsoft Ignite 2023 article about Copilot, Fabric and Teams, and other surprises from Microsoft's Ignite 2023 event.

  • Modern Workspace
Nov 07, 2023

How IT Can Help You Attract the Best New Talent

Regardless of the individual you're looking to attract to your organisation, what makes you attractive to them? In this article, learn about the transformation of the IT department as a concept.

  • Modern Workspace
Nov 01, 2023

Busting the Windows 11 Update Myth

Get ready for the Windows 11 upgrade! Explore customer concerns and impact on your business in this IT veteran's perspective.