Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK
Charles has enjoyed a career of delivering big tech solutions to both public sector organisations and FTSE 150 retail companies. He has been CIO at the Met Office for close to 10 years, with accountability for all aspects of tech across the company and leading a team of more than 350 professionals.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
Diversity and Inclusion is an organsiational priority. We have revised our end-to-end recruitment processes and documentation in order to uncover and correct any unintended biases to ensure that our recruitment reflects society. We have addressed historic gender pay gaps and routinely monitor all awards, promotions, recruitments and so on to ensure that we maximise our gender diversity. This has improved markedly in recent years.
I am also the executive sponsor for neurodiversity, and this is an example of many active communities that are supported within the organisation to ensure that all aspects of diversity and minority groups have a voice that is listened to. Collectively, these communities have brought about many changes in recruitment and more widely.
What technology are you currently most excited by?
The application of machine learning, specifically recognition and classification of patterns identified by deep-learning networks, which our organisation is applying in many technical areas to great effect. In an organisation that exemplifies 'big data', the ability to take insight at scale in areas such as anomaly detection or other forms of automated analysis is allowing us to advance the quality of our prediction data rapidly. In our vertical, we are the leading adopter of public cloud and the combination of highly scaled aplastic compute, big data and machine learning has the potential to fundamentally improve our outputs.
What makes you laugh?
My three pet dogs attempting to out-compete each other in chasing and holding on to a stick, and everything ever produced by Monty Python.
How did you get into IT?
I am old enough to have begun my career as an electronics systems engineer working in discrete electronics and largely analogue components. Over time, micro-controllers, micro-processors and digital electronics allowed for faster paced innovation and that led to a career in IT where I am observing much the same thing at a different scale, as discrete systems and machines are being superceded in many applications by the arise of service consumption and abstraction in the cloud.