Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK
Dewi is a diverse and transformative CIO/CTO with over 20 years' multi-sector experience, working for organisations as diverse as the BBC, Sky, BT, Reed, the DWP and The Open University. He specialises in interim roles, delivering necessary change in a tight timeframe.
An ex Big Four management consultant with global experience across PLC, privately owned and public sector organisations, Dewi is skilled at adjusting to different corporate cultures. He is an expert in delivery, adept at operating in complex structures and stakeholder environments to achieve important business outcomes.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
Do all the basics such as trying to remove unintentional gender or demographic bias from advert wordings and job descriptions; ensuring opportunities are widely published; blind CV/application screening, diverse selection panels; tracking diversity metrics, etc. However, the biggest thing we can do is focus on true equality, to ensure an open and inclusive culture and organisational mindset based on experience (where genuinely relevant) and, more importantly, capability or potential.
Diversity isn't just about recruitment but the whole of a person's time with a company (and indeed how their career progresses long into the future). An application is just the start of an individual's journey with a company; to ensure their continued happiness, motivation and success, we have to ensure they are supported and encouraged as a person to maximise their potential, regardless of background, makeup or personal preference.
Which technology are you currently most excited by?
I am genuinely interested in all technologies but what excites me most is their application to improve the world we live in. I am a big believer in ecosystems - no single application, system or thing exists in isolation - and so the challenge and reward of making different technologies work together towards a common outcome and in concert with their wider environment is immensely satisfying to me. The overall value of a well-orchestrated ecosystem really is greater than the sum of its parts.
What do you to unwind?
For me, it's always family first: I have two young daughters, and spending time with them takes me mentally and physically into a different world where the stresses and challenges of my professional world can just melt away.
I also think it's important for everyone to make time for themselves, and for me that means scuba diving whenever I can (only in warm climates though!), motor-biking (with the occasional trackday) and mountain biking in whatever free time I have.
If you were an animal (other than human), which animal would you be and why?
I've always admired orangutans - they seem to blend a level of wisdom with playful inquisitiveness, and cheeky fun, that I aspire to achieve!
Otherwise it would be a turtle - the freedom they have to explore the (underwater) world, almost without boundaries, whilst gracefully moving through their environment with a real sense of calm, is very appealing. And, as any scuba diver knows, the opportunity to swim with a turtle is the peak of any dive!
What makes you laugh?
Often, my youngest will question something I've taken for granted and I find myself wholly unable to explain it to her (or myself!).
On a different level, Staged with Michael Sheen and David Tennant is absolutely hilarious. It's the best TV I've watched in a long time (and we're huge fans of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video so there's no shortage of choice). It's probably helped that my wife thinks I share some common traits with Michael Sheen…
How did you get into IT?
My interest started with PCs and the wonder of flight simulators and the advanced gameplay that they could bring. To be fair, this was in the late '80s before decent games consoles! From there, I experimented with programming (Basic) and discovered a general aptitude for technology.
Professionally, I wanted to be an architect (of the building variety), but when it became apparent my creative/artistic flare wasn't quite up to par, I decided to focus on my strengths where I knew I could succeed, and this led me to study Computing & Information Systems at university. Still not knowing what I wanted to do as a career, I stumbled across management consulting and joined Accenture (Andersen Consulting, as it was then) as a graduate. At the time, the combined appeal of earning well whilst getting to explore the world on different projects with different clients was incredibly attractive. The breadth of exposure I got, in terms of technologies, disciplines, teams, business structures & strategies, and cultures I feel has stood me in good stead throughout the rest of my career. To this day, it's still the people that make a career in technology most interesting and rewarding.