Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK
Ian joined the Executive Board at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2017, bringing with him over 20 years of senior IT leadership experience in both private and public sectors. Prior to that, he spent five years as CTO at City University London. During this time, he led transformation activities that delivered highly-available and highly-resilient infrastructure services.
Ian's private sector experience includes six years as technical services director at Genesys Conferencing, where he was responsible for the provision of 'always-on' IT, web and telecoms services.
In addition to the above, Ian sits on the Board of Governors at the University of Bedfordshire and is a Trustee of King's College Hospital Charity.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
Kew began its EDI journey in earnest over 5 years ago, and we've taken it very seriously indeed. These things take time to embed and to reach fruition, but we are seeing promising signs of change already. I am the Executive Board lead for EDI, so I've been fortunate enough to be involved from the start of our journey.
The IT directorate is the most racially diverse in our organisation and this may in part be due to the fact that IT typically attracts a wide range of applicants. Kew is working hard to broaden its appeal in its less traditionally diverse disciplines/careers, in order to encourage interest from underrepresented groups.
Which technology are you currently most excited by?
I think we are just beginning to see the true potential of machine learning and AI in our everyday lives. We are very close to the point where we can no longer discern the difference between (non-physical) interactions with humans and interactions with automated systems. The nuances and tell-tail differences in communication between the two are becoming almost imperceptible.
What do you to unwind?
I maintain a very busy family and working life, so winding down is absolutely essential for me. I am a semi-professional musician and play guitar in a successful tribute band - we gig up & down the country every weekend. Being in a band is a complete departure from everything else I do and allows me to unplug.
How did you get into IT?
I've known I wanted to pursue a career in IT, from the age of 14 or 15 - my school had a single computer back in the day and I became fascinated almost immediately. I studied Computation at university and started my first job as a developer a week after graduation. I've not really looked back since!