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Jim Schrader in 'People to Know in Technology'

Once a month, Columbus Business First puts the spotlight on 20 individuals from Central Ohio who are front and center in their industries. From health care to finance to technology and many industry sectors in between, the focus will be on Central Ohioans deeply engaged in their work and leading their companies and communities – people with whom you should get acquainted.

The mid-January edition focused on Technology.  Jim Schrader, President of TechSite was among those featured.  The content of his Q&A follows:

Why did you get into this profession? I was introduced to data centers right out of college with my first job at the Liebert Corp. I was actually more attracted to the application engineering opportunity than I was to a job in a technology field. The job as an application engineer was exactly what I was looking for with exposure to engineering, manufacturing sales and service.


 What’s the most exciting thing happening today in technology? The work that our customers perform via their data centers is truly amazing. Many of our customers are in the medical field. They are using technology to expand and improve treatments through electronic health records and genetic analysis known as genomics. We have other customers that use their data centers to streamline manufacturing and logistics processes. We all benefit with time-saving technology supported by data centers. Also, technology and the work that goes on in data centers are very “green.” Online banking and electronic health records systems save millions of trees, billions of tons of greenhouse gasses, and millions of gallons of water every year.

What’s your biggest concern about the profession? I have no doubt that our need for technology is going to continue to expand as we find new ways to use technology to save resources and improve processes. My biggest concern is being able to keep up with the rapid changes in technology and to provide data center services that will continue to be valuable to our customers in the future.

What would you change about technology in the U.S.? The biggest challenge to technology is to use it consistently with our constitutional guaranteed civil liberties. I have no problem with using technology to track criminals and terrorists when it is done in a constitutional, targeted manner. The government uses massive data centers to gather and store information on all of us, including tracking our correspondence. Technology should be used to enhance our quality of life and civil liberties, not to reduce them.

What advice you can give to someone who wants to build a career similar to yours? I would recommend that anybody who wants to own a company someday, whether it is in the field of technology or anything else, do the following five things.

  • Hard work: There is no substitute for this. Accomplish something every day and do not waste time.
  • Education: You do not need a fancy degree from a prestigious university, but you do need to practice lifelong learning. Take advantage of the plethora of free learning opportunities that are available. There are even on the job opportunities that your boss will pay for you to continue learning.
  • Live Below Your Means: You need to learn to be satisfied with what you have. Focus on food, clothing, shelter, education and medicine until you are established. Everything else is optional.
  • Savings: You need to put money away for tomorrow. If you are going to own your own company, you need to be able to buy assets, go without a salary in the short term and meet payroll. You will need money in the bank.
  • Investment: Investing is different than savings in that you put your capital at risk with no guarantees of success. You must be willing to take calculated risks and bet on yourself and your team.

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