Kaseya Australia and New Zealand managing director, Dermot McCann, wishes he was able to see more of the cities he travels to. But at least when he travels he's got his tech down pat.
Kaseya helps companies with IT systems management, providing products that, for example, enable access to systems no matter where they are, secures them, inventories them and automates them. It also provides help desk, backup, mobile device management and reporting products, among others.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I'm a recent Apple convert so as long as I have my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, as well as a suitcase full of power adapters and various cables, I can travel fairly light. Being able to access my data from anywhere using iCloud or Dropbox is very helpful, but my absolute favourite is being able to video call with my wife and children on Skype — it is great for breaking the distance.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
I would literally be lost without TripIt. There are so many moving parts in travelling that remembering which flight numbers, departure times and getting itinerary updates is one less hassle I don't want to deal with.
Personal travel advice/tip?
I hardly ever get to see very much of the cities that I visit, which is a shame. It would be great, but is often not possible to just tap on an extra day to soak up some of the culture or local environment. With so much business time taken up in travelling you actually get to see very little of some of the world's greatest cities. I can't really say that I've experienced them when all I usually experience is an airport, taxi, hotel room, boardroom and a nice restaurant. Keeping fit whilst travelling is also an important discipline.
How do you deal with jet lag?
Does it really exist? I don't think I've ever really suffered from it. I usually travel for only a few days and usually arrive early in the morning so would typically just adapt to the new time zone straight away and put in a full day's work. If I can get to the gym, that helps. Otherwise, a steak washed down with a few glasses of red wine for medicinal purposes in the evening helps, too!
What was your biggest travel disaster?
There were so many of these last year for various reasons — either ash clouds, industrial disputes, snow storms, earthquakes or poor travel arrangements — that I've got used to being stranded in airport lounges. I was nearly arrested in Turkey once, which was an experience I'd rather not repeat but that's a long story.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
I've got three children (six, three and one) so having time with each of them before I go with plenty of cuddles and promises of toys on my return occupy a lot of the pre-departure ritual. I also need to remind my wife of her imminent sainthood for looking after them for us.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
Almost everyone agrees that wireless would be great. I'm not so convinced. I really like the idea of having some time unplugged where no one can contact me, and I really don't want to be sitting next to someone who is on videoconference calls and TALKING LOUDLY on very important matter (to them). Something I would prefer is sub-orbital travel; 24 hours is a long time to spend on a plane and anything to reduce that time would be great.
Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?
Internet connectivity is ubiquitous, fast and unlimited in the US. It always amazes me how far behind we still are in Australia. It is amazing the difference it makes having access to fast internet (and wireless internet), having it publicly available and free hot spots only adds to the benefit. Investing in old technology, digging it into the ground and charging extortionate rates for internet plans or global roaming is a disgrace to me when the rest of the developed world did this over 15 years ago and has moved onto more exciting things!
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
I've been stranded in a few in the past 12 months and without a doubt the best is the Sydney Qantas Platinum lounge. I would go there for breakfast, lunch, etc — and dinner for an evening flight if they let me. I'm hopeful that they actually finish the refurbishment of LAX sometime this century as that is possibly the worst.