We recently sat down with Robert Benton, the owner of Network Technology Partners, and had a conversation about what initially peaked his interest in information technology, how he’s implemented it into his life’s work and what he predicts for the future of IT.
Q: Growing up, what was the first time that you realized the importance of technology or specifically information technology?
During my teenage years, my school received its first computer. It was a Commodore VIC-20. Later that year they received a PAX system as well. These systems introduced me to the world of gaming, word processing and programming. For a young hyper-active kid this kept my attention for more than 5 minutes and my parents were ecstatic. The school had a teacher that headed up the Computer classes and I was his assistant. We were able to get the PAX system operational and teach word processing classes to other kids.
Q: When you were in your early twenties, you worked for your biological father’s logistics company. Describe some of the older technologies in his business that you can remember.
During my time with him we did Telephone based dispatch and he worked off a clipboard.
I introduced computers and installed a program call Prophesy that allowed him to track the trucks, loads hauled, maintenance on the trucks and trailers and logs. We also installed the first cellphones in trucks so the truckers could stay on the road more. Back then they had to stop at truck stops and call using a payphone that equated into longer downtimes.
Q: What is the single most crucial piece of technology in today’s business world?
The device you access your work from. That used to be a computer, but today it can be a cellphone, tablet, laptop, computer or even a TV.
Q: What tech trends are you most excited about for 2021?
Cloud computing and remote workspace. Microsoft 365 has really laid the foundation for IT to incorporate something new.