The Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) director of information, Ailsa Beaton, has announced that she will be stepping down from her post in the middle of next year, after an impressive 12 years in the job.

Beaton has seen four Commissioners come and go, and joined before there was an organisation-wide email system, when information strategy was managed in different business group from technology, and when there were no service level agreements with the major outsourced service providers.

Over the past 12 years Beaton has overseen a number of key performance and efficiency projects, which include the introduction of mobile technologies, the implementation of a ubiquitous ICT infrastructure and social media monitoring.

The Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “I would like to thank Ailsa for her significant contribution to both the MPS and policing nationally. I wish her well for the future.”

Beaton was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list for services to policing.

In 2005 she also became the first member of police staff to be elected by the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) nationally as a portfolio lead – Head of Information Management Business.

Since being appointed to this role seven years ago, Beaton has been involved in a number of national projects. These include the Police National Network and Airwave, the Police National Database and the Management of Police Information Standards.

“It has been an honour to work for the Met. Whilst I shall miss the dedication and support of those I have had the privilege to work with, it is time for me to move on to new challenges,” said Beaton.

No information has been provided as to who will take up the post once Beaton leaves in the middle of 2013.

It was recently revealed that the MPS is in talks with specialist software companies to develop a system that pulls user generated content from smartphones, following the amount of footage and evidence that was supplied during the summer riots in London last year.

It is also said to be exploring the possibility of moving at least 60 percent of its IT systems to the cloud.

CIO Profile: Met Police CIO Ailsa Beaton on keeping pace with London's policing