What's your proudest work-related achievement of the last 12 months?
1) Transformed a significant devolved delivered IT services provision into a centrally managed IT service organisation within four months. When I arrived at ARU, I observed that there were numerous IT staff and large IT budgets within the organisation that were not part of the IT department. I was told that a centralisation approach had not been attempted previously as it had been deemed too difficult and would face too much opposition.
After carrying out detailed research of exactly what IT service was provided outside IT services and by whom, I produced a business case document outlining the benefits of a centrally managed approach, a proposed structure of the organisation and an implementation plan to our corporate management team.
To ensure it would be successful I had already gained agreement and support in principle from the Vice-Chancellor (Chief Executive), the HR Director and Finance Director prior to wider presentation. The proposals were approved and within four months, including involving unions and staff consultation, the new structure was operational. Numerous concerns were raised at the outset; however, six months after implementation, there was acceptance that concerns were unfounded and benefits become visible.
2) Introduced and implemented governance and funding model to prioritise and oversee the funding allocation, project prioritisation and approval to ensure effective alignment and business ownership of the digital and IT agenda within the organisation and prioritisation based on sound requirements aligned to agreed strategies and business justification.
What's the number one skill today's IT leaders need?
The courage to challenge the status quo and ability to influence key decision makers through effective relationship building and sound business cases.
How many people work in IT in your organisation?
What's your top priority for the next 12 months?
Refresh our digital strategy. Roll out Office 365 across the organisation as part of a collaborative working change programme. Implement digital product solution delivery for applicant-facing services to transform applicant experience and increase conversion. Implement HR-goes-digital programme - combining a major systems replacement and integration programme with the introduction of new digital and self-service processes.
What's your annual IT budget?
£15m (£10m opex, £5m capex).