Essex county has a population of around 1.4 million and in 2011 the council had a budget of around £900 million, from government grants, tax payers and non-domestic rates.

CIO of Essex County Council, David Wilde has previously worked for City of Westminster council as a CIO. He recently announced plans to utilise cloud and a PSN compliant data network to maintain savings of around £300 million for the council. This program is part of the EssexWorks initiative, which plans to implement more effective IT strategies to make the council more cost effective. However the plans have resulted in a downsizing of the IT department as a means of saving money. The council currently has a transformation deal with IBM that is set to last another seven years.

Wilde plans to be fully private cloud by 2015, he is also looking to take a data approach to understand and organise all of the councils data through geographical information system.

Wilde has also implemented plans to improve customer access to services through digital means, such as website and mobile apps. The council has also introduced technology which aims to improve its corporate network and internet speeds. Essex also plans to upgrade its telephone systems to IP telephony, which will help efficiency by allowing incoming phone calls to be directed to mobile or desk phones. This will reduce the amount of fixed line telephone headsets that the council needs to invest in.

IT leader: David Wilde, CIO,

In role since: July 2011.

Reporting line: CEO and COO

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Monthly,

Board level seat: Yes,

IT budget: £32 million per annum revenues, £30 million capital IT expenditure, which is about 2% of revenue.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 12,000 users.

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 90%.

IT staff currently employed: 280.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 80% in-house.

IT management team and reporting structure: Nine direct reports spanning technology strategy, information governance, security, ICT service delivery and lines of business technologies.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010.

Primary technology suppliers: Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Siemens.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Dell for end user devices, Microsoft for Enterprise Applications, Kana for CRM.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: About 20%.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: End-user computing refresh is about 30% complete and moving to a standardised mobile environment across the entire workforce and estate. IS modernisation, completely restructuring information service delivery across the organisation to deliver £32 million savings over five years.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Economic growth through technology as an enabler at the geographic and demographic levels. Channel shift to self-serve through electronic means as the default across all business lines.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Complete IS modernisation, enable shared services and self-serve and establish enterprise business intelligence.

Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: Allow email and calendar access. Ctirix CAG also available via VPN.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Planned migration to VDI as standard by 2015.

Technologies are being considered to enable transformation: VDI, building on current Windows 7 and Office 2010 core while migrating line of business and ERP to cloud managed services.

Transformational inspiration sources: Tim Berners-Lee, still ahead of the game, especially around semantic and Big Data.