Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK in 2023.
A business-literate head of IT, Julian is experienced in delivering business change by exploiting technology, typically information systems. He has experience across multiple company sizes, having worked in everything from SMEs to FTSE-100 firms, as well as industries (retail, supply chain, manufacturing, engineering) and locations (international, EMEA and UK).
How did you get into IT?
I completed an undergraduate apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce (what today we might call a degree apprenticeship) and then moved into business-centric IT.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
Nothing focuses the mind more than a skills shortage! The root of the broad diversity in our IT team is an open-minded approach to finding, developing, and retaining great talent rather than any sterile attempt to just fill a quota.
Which technology are you currently most excited by?
I've been around long enough to have witnessed plenty of 'false dawns' for artificial intelligence. I think that we are now seeing value, cost-effective AI coming of age with an accompanying realisation that we need to actively manage the associated risks.
What would an outsider find the most surprising part of your job?
They'd probably be surprised at how often business peers want me to help them think through issues largely unrelated to IT.
What's your secret talent?
My love of landscape photography used to be a talent that was not widely known, but we've had a monthly company-wide photo competition for a while now and so it isn't really secret any more.
What makes you laugh?
Quite a lot, to be honest, and particularly my own antics and foibles. We spend too much of our lives working for there not to be plenty of humour shared with colleagues.