Ian Townend

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Ian Townend
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Ian Townend

Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK

Ian has extensive experience in providing senior leadership, consultancy, governance and project management in the public sector. He became chief architect at NHS England after seven years as lead architect, where he led the interoperability agenda and team management, as well as information sharing and governnance across the health and social care service. Prior to his work for the NHS, he worked as patient co-chair for Health Level Seven and held roles at Leeds City Council.

How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?

We have a diverse team already in place and use that diversity to reach out through groups those team members are part of such as women in IT, the Shuri Network (BME women in health tech) etc.  When recruiting we seek diverse applications which in architecture are sometimes hard to come by.

What technology are you currently most excited by?

Possibly cliched but AI.  Lots of hype about AI but it's an area that could add significant support to human workers particularly in my health tech field.  Work like pre-processing of diagnostic images, checking for contra-indications in medicine and RPA all offer support mechanisms which could make it easier for humans to work thus increasing efficiency of the existing workforce as the NHS struggles with recruitment to clinical roles.

What makes you laugh?

I'm definitely all for the dad jokes these days, which is legitimate after becoming a dad just over a year ago!

How did you get into IT?

I did a Computing degree and then after graduating picked up my first job as a specialist message developer after national NHS IT moved base to Leeds in 2005.

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