Developing a digital strategy is a vital responsibility for a CIO. A technology leader can add great value to the business by investigating digital trends and aligning them with the needs of the business.

CIO UK hears how 11 CIOs on the 2017 CIO 100 are developing and implementing a digital strategy within their organisation.

Read next: Developing the right IT strategy - How to support business strategy with technology

"Digital at the end of the day is just a word. We all use it but it can mean many things to many people. For the board and myself I have chosen to define what the digital health enterprise means for us in terms of clinical outcomes – quality and productivity measures. I've related it to their reference points – A&E, community nursing or podiatry.

"In the wider environment, digital literacy of the clinical workforce has become an essential skill. We had realised that nurses and therapists were not in some cases fully digitally literate, and doctors were unwilling to use some technology. In order to deal with this at source, I have provided a sandpit technology system to the local university who will be using it as part of the training for their doctors, nurses and therapists. My teams are also contributing to the e-nurse programme with essential skills for nurses using electronic patient records."
Rachel Dunscombe, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, CIO


"Leeds strives to be the best city for health and wellbeing. NHS England recognised our five-year strategy or ‘local digital roadmap’ for delivering digital H&C capabilities as one of only two exemplars due to its innovative place-based and whole-system approach, which looks at how information and technology can be applied and used by patients, citizens and carers in localities as well as across a joined-up health and care system.

"A great deal of emphasis is put on good governance and strong partnerships across local public services and the private sector to help deliver innovative strategies and solutions. I have very much been at the forefront of developing this city-first, place-based approach which is changing the lives of our citizens for the better."
Dylan Roberts, Leeds City Council, Chief Digital and Information Officer


"We drive our digital strategy at board level, making sure that digital in its broadest sense is well understood (it’s about more than technology) and that the case for developing new ways of working, business models and products and services informs our business strategy.

"We work with the group SLT (senior leadership team) and OLT (operational leadership team) to explore what digital means for Atkins. Getting senior buy-in and engagement to develop and co-create an aligned view about Atkins' digital ambition has been essential. It has matured such that we were able to present our digital vision to industry analysts at the Atkins capital markets day. Our presentation explained our three growth themes of digital asset management, digital engineering and intelligent mobility, as well as providing real client examples of success.
Richard Cross, WS Atkins, CDO/CIO


"Understanding data makes us a digitally literate company. We are focused on outcome, and our only motivation in considering various product details is to get the previously determined results. It's a more sophisticated way to discuss product development.

"This directly impacts revenue: it increases ad inventory and garners results from both a B2C and B2B perspective. From a B2C perspective, it stands to reason that the more engaged a reader is, the more likely they are to subscribe and the longer they stay with us - 60% of FT subscribers are B2B, and we charge subscribing businesses more depending on how engaged their employees are with FT journalism."
Cait O'Riordan, Financial Times, Chief product and information officer


"I have a technology strategy that links directly to the corporate strategy’s ‘18 elements’ (internal jargon, sorry!). Personally, I spend at least 60% of my time and focus on business activities and have a full understanding of the wider Met Office such that I can effectively understand how technology can advance our customer experience, as well as corporate goals and objectives and how those corporate objectives should be influenced by technology."
Charles Ewen, Met Office, Director of technology (CIO)


"The newly appointed role of delivery director has given digital a face in each care division, primary care, community care, acute services and the corporate side of the organisation. This role has been accepted into the management team of each of the areas, and now is seen as part of the care delivery function rather than a separate technology function.

"This new role ensures that now we have an ear in the business, the adage of listening more than speaking is possible, and the team can have an informed, clinically based, digital strategy for each of the clinical areas across the whole of Ireland. This is a great outcome. However, perhaps more importantly and somewhat unexpected is the fact that the entire healthcare system now feels it has an accountable technology-based person for their needs."
Richard Corbridge, HSE Ireland, Chief Information Officer and CEO of eHealth Ireland


"Digital to many is about the visible outward-facing aspects of our organisation – our digital partnerships with BBC or Google, and the accessing of our collections through online catalogues – but for digital to be successful, I have been highlighting the necessity of the underpinning technology and processes.

"Our priorities for digitisation have been determined through many forums and we will be digitising 250,000 of our objects over the next several years. That simply would not have been possible 12 months ago due to the deteriorating condition of the on-premise technology estate. A move to cloud-based storage provides us with the ability to scale exponentially at an increased velocity but in a sustainable manner. Meanwhile new integrations between our collections systems and enhanced search functionality will allow far greater efficiency in making our collections available for public consumption. "
Jason Oliver, Science Museum, Head of ICT


"Digital strategy isn't distinct at Arsenal – it is embedded in every aspect of the club. My role is to translate our commercial and operational strategy into digital and technology deliverables that can drive this change. The influencing tends to come from individual relationships. I spend a significant amount of my working week in one-to-ones with our C-suite and heads of department. This allows me to understand their needs/issues and to shape solutions to drive change.

"One specific example would be the efforts to drive greater understanding of data protection and the impact of the club. This has involved work at every level, from my agreeing with my CEO the level of priority we should accord to this, down to my team training every single user as to the impacts of the DPA, and what it means for day-to-day behaviour."
Hywel Sloman, Arsenal FC, IT Director


"The London market insurance industry is a relatively late adopter of modern technology. Numerous modernisation programmes have made little progress and there was cynicism both within Lloyd's and the market about whether the target operating model (TOM) could be delivered. As the primary sponsor for the TOM within Lloyd's, my role includes communicating the benefits of digital transformation to the Lloyd's board and to the market that finances the initiative. There is now far greater understanding at board level throughout the market both of the threats of digital disruption and the efficiency and customer service benefits offered by digital modernisation.

"We achieved this early on by holding 117 meetings with businesses, CIOs, COOs and technology boards, and 28 events for 1,260 market participants to explain how the modernisation programme would work and to get their views. This communication and engagement continues actively throughout the programme."
Shirine Khoury-Haq, Lloyd's of London, Chief Operating Officer


"We have established a digital champions network with participation from across the organisation to harness ideas and insight and challenge us to think bigger. This group meets regularly by webinar and has its own LinkedIn group.

"Importantly, we have not left the board behind. I have run a series of seminars for non-executive members of the board, covering everything from 'what is the cloud?' to information security and the EU’s general data protection regulation."
Aaron Powell, NHS Blood and Transplant, Chief Digital Officer


"We are transforming our operations in 15 countries in parallel to become real-time, automated digital telcos. This is a complete reimplementation of the business model, business processes and customer journeys. It has required us to replace all customer-facing systems.

"In the last year we brought eight countries live and migrated 60 million customers to this digital world. In 2017 we will migrate up to 45% of our global customer base (over 140 million customers). This transforms the experience of our customers, giving them a real-time, omnichannel and personalised experience, and ensures that Telefonica has the digital capabilities we need to compete in this new world."
Phil Jordan, Telefonica, Global CIO