Coventry is located in the West Midlands and is England’s ninth largest city, with a population of around 300,000. Coventry City Council is responsible for making decisions regarding the health care, social care, housing, education and employment of the city.
The council has approximately a £277 million budget which is distributed amongst areas such as salaries and energy for the city. The council employs around 17,200 staff with around 3,000 of those teachers.
The council relies heavily on effective IT strategies for all elements of its transformation programmes. One of the technology strategies the council are considering to implement is BYOD strategy for employees as a way of reducing paperwork and increase efficiency. The council also started using a CRYPTOcard security system last year to protect the digital identities of its worker who use remote devices. The cloud-based system is deployed into the organisations network and has the advantage of being accessible anywhere by staff.
Kevin Malone has previously worked for Shropshire County Council as their head of ICT. He is currently assistant director of ICT for Coventry City Council and was a central part of the transformation programme, i-Cov, implemented last year. The programme aimed to centralise all the disparate areas of IT into one service and to provide £5 million worth of saving for the council. The project also outlined aims to develop a sustainable future for the ICT services of the council and transfer staff from SERCO directly to the council, as a means for centralising IT.
The council has plans to develop 3D virtualisation to implement the physical restoration of the historic Far Gosford Street in the city. The technology is being used for the development and communication purposes of the project.
IT leader: Kevin Malone, Assistant Director, ICT.
In role since: January 2011.
Reporting line: Director of Customer & Workforce Services.
How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: At a minimum monthly, but often weekly.
Board level seat: I have seats on the corporate Transformation Programme Delivery Board and the Chief Executive’s Strategy Group.
IT budget: Approximately £10.5 million revenue, £15 million capital.
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Just over 5,000 user, approximately one third including schools based staff of the organisation.
IT staff currently employed: 120.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: There is no split – we are one year into a new in-house service after 11 years of outsourced ICT provision.
IT management team and reporting structure: I have four direct reports, the Head of ICT Strategy & Architecture, Head of ICT Change, Head of ICT Operations and Head of ICT Support Services.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Various line of business applications including Finance, HR/Payroll, Integrated Transport Management System, Adult Social Care, Children’s system, CRM etc.
Primary technology suppliers: Microsoft, Oracle, Netapp, VMWare, Dell.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: We are in the process of assessing the results of an ERP tender starting with the finance system element first.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: None at present – various options are under active investigation and business cases being assessed.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: The ICT service had been outsourced for over 11 years but was brought back in-house last year, a new single ICT service created and all ICT budgets centralised.
Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes, it was a major success and saw £5 million per annum savings and significant service improvements. Also, there is a major council-wide transformation programme underway in which ICT is perhaps the key enabling agent.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: ICT supports every separate component/project of the wider Transformation Programme. So far, Fundamental Service Reviews have covered areas such as Finance, ICT, Business Administration, Childrens Services, CCTV, Strategic Commissioning & Procurement to name but a few.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: To accelerate the roll-out of Location Independent Working, continue to develop the enabling platform for the Transformation Programme (not just a technical platform) and continue to improve ICT support to the organisation (remember that this service is only one year old!)
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: We are completing an exhaustive trial of the leading BYOD/Mobile Device Management products available (which has thrown up some interesting results) to inform a Business Case on how we deal with such matters across the organisation and with key partners. Coventry City Council is recognised as one of the leading local authorities in respect of its use of social media to engage and interact with citizens. We are now investigating how we can increase those interactions to include things like crowdsourcing.
Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Engagement at senior level is via business cases (and associated debate) through the Transformation Board and/or the ICT Strategy Group, the ICT governance group made comprised of the council’s senior decision makers. Being a public sector body, security and compliance is always a major consideration and we have various internal and external controls that we need to comply with.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: Unified Communications, CRM upgrade, ERP, Sharepoint, BYOD, apps.
Transformational inspiration sources: In respect of ICT, my peers and colleagues across the public and private sectors, the media and internet. In respect of wider management, my Chief Executive and my Director as well as other recognised public and private sector 'Leaders'.