The Highland Council covers three main operational areas: Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Lochaber; and Inverness Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey. The Council's budget for the 2012 to 2013 is £602m.

IT Leader: John Grieve, Corporate ICT Manager

In role since: 16 years

Reporting line: Reports to Head of E-Government

Board level seat: The Assistant Chief Executive is the member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) with responsibility for ICT

IT budget: £16m. Council revenue budget is £598.8 million for 2011-12. ICT is therefore 2.6 per cent of the operational budget

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: We have 8600 users (excludes pupils) and 14,350 desktop devices (PC, thin clients, graphic workstations and laptops)

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 71 per cent, 8600 users, employees = 12,100 9700fte

IT staff currently employed: 30

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: ICT Service Delivery is undertaken by outsourced contractors. Exact number of staff employed on outsourced work is unknown (currently higher due to large transformation programme) but estimated around 250

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Email. We have approximately 20-30 main line of business applications ranging from the usual Finance, HR used by all Services to the service specific applications such as Council Tax, Social Work, MIS and Library Management. We then have ~ 200 other applications

Primary technology suppliers: We largely outsource ICT Service delivery. We have managed service contracts with Fujitsu for Managed ICT Services, five year contract term and Cable & Wireless for WAN in a joint arrangement with neighbouring authorities

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year: Complete our ICT transformation programme which has moved datacentre operations to two Fujitsu datacentres in England providing virtualised Green environments and DR facilities. The desktop infrastructure in Corporate and curriculum environments is being replaced. A desktop refresh and move to Managed Print Service will support mobile and flexible working initiatives and also achieve £700k a year reduction in energy costs. We will also implement the Utility Charging arrangement with Fujitsu Services.

We need also to support Organisation changes, move of Library & leisure services to Charitable Trust and Social Work Adult Care staff to NHS and other Corporate and Service initatives.

Technologies considered by the leader to offer their organisation potential: We have moved to a private cloud and do use virtualisation. SharePoint and technologies and business processes that enable us to move from an anarchy of personal data stores to secure corporate record and information management is key

How do you see technology transforming your organisation in the near future? Enable staff to work in a mobile and flexible manner and to be able to deliver public services in a more efficient and effective manner. Provide increasing range of transaction services as well as information on line or to mobile devices. Provide a 'ICT platform' that is scalable and flexible to enable the organisation to change and actively seek out Shared Service initiatives and not be the alleged reason why we can't change