Mal Allerton is Group CIO for music industry leader PIAS Entertainment Group and took a moment to describe his career and role.

Where were you born?

What is the basic structure of your IT department?
UK centre for applications, Brussels centre for infrastructure, onsite support in Paris, outsourced support in Netherlands, Germany and Spain

Who are your key suppliers?

Who has/have been the most influential people in your career?
It has to be the people I served with in the Royal Signals, after that the very smart people I worked with in Microsoft. All too numerous to name!

Do you believe in mentoring?
Yes, in my early career within the military I met and worked for some exceptional leaders. I also spent time on leadership development courses during my career there. Latterly I did Management Study courses in the UK and Australia. I have had the pleasure of coaching a few individuals since then (all of whom remain friends so I must have got something right!)

Which tools or tactics have given you most success in communicating up/down/across?

The kettle and cups of tea
Walking and talking.
Meeting people in their own space
Sense of Humour.
The ability to always see a positive side to a crisis.

What has been your biggest mistake?
There have been many! I guess the one that springs to mind was taking too long to develop a healthy work/life balance. When you enjoy your work it can take over your life.

And your greatest success?
Meeting my wife and persuading her to marry me.

How do you keep up to date with the march of technology?
I read a lot and listen to my vendors.

How do you deal with stress?
I have a power boat, there is nothing like a 40 knot run across the Solent to Yarmouth for lunch to put a smile back on your face.

What profession would you most/least like to attempt?
Most? A ski instructor in the winter and a golf pro in the summer.
Least? Social worker.

Which word or phrase do you most use/overuse?
This is taking far, far too long...

Do you have a sport you practice or sportsperson/team that you follow?
I support Sheffield Wednesday. Like I said, I have the ability to see the positive in every crisis and I have a sense of humour.

What else do you do outside of work?
Chase after my two young boys and hang on whilst they are driving the boat.