Surrey County Council for the county of Surrey was created in 1888 and moved to Kingston in 1889 from Newington when Newington was incorporated into London. The Conservative-controlled council has 80 councillors.

IT leader: Paul Brocklehurst, Head of Information Management and Technology.

In role since: June 2009.

Reporting line: Strategic Director - Change and Efficiency.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Every six weeks.

Board level seat: Yes.

IT budget: £25 million per annum revenue, Capex spend £3-5 million per annum, 1.75% of the turnover.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 9,000.

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

IT staff currently employed: 156 permanent staff.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 30 contract staff.

IT management team and reporting structure: Direct Reports: Group Manager - IMT Business Development and Resources, Customer Services and Partnerships, Business Solutions, Applications Architecture and Delivery, Technical Architecture and Delivery.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: SAP, Northgate AIS, LiquidLogic ICS, VisionWare, Squiz, Business Objects, Maximo, Axiell, Optima.

Primary technology suppliers: SAP, BT, IBM, Citrix, Bull, Capgemini, CWW.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Public sector seven-year network deal with BT (for Surrey County Council, Surrey Boroughs and Districts, Berkshire Boroughs and Districts, Health and Higher Education), SuperFast Broadband rollout across Surrey, Deployment of 7,500 end-user devices as part of Windsows 7 rollout with SCC.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: In the region of 10%.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: The council have a target to save in excess of £200 million per annum over the next three years, which is being achieved by transformation of all services being provided to our residents. This supported by a number of transformational programmes across the Council. Those successfully delivered to date include:

  • Successful system implementations for new Children’s (1,500 users) and Adults Systems (2,300 users), Highways (400 users), Libraries (300 users), Back Office (SAP Finance, HR, Payroll – 5,500 users) and new Web 2.0 web site (supporting 9m visitors  per annum).
  • Implementation of County wide services to support two data centres, Network and Desktop for the County Council, Health, Districts and Boroughs and Fire Services significantly reducing costs (£5 million per annum) and increasing service and flexibility to our services and residents.
  • Introducing new flexible, mobile services by replacing 7,000 desktops and laptops to introduce Windows 7 reducing costs by supporting an aggressive office closure programme, improving service standards.
  • Complete IMT restructure - improving performance, introducing best practices, lowering headcount by 20% and significantly reducing costs.
  • Introduction of new systems for example: Schools Broadband, Web 2.0 and new content management system, social media support, Youth Services, Trading Standards, Online Booking and Fault Recording Systems.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: We are on target for delivering to our transformation plan and are delivering the required savings.

Specific examples include successfully replacing key systems in Adults Services, Children’s Services and Highways. For example SWIFT (used by 2,000 social workers to manage critical social work cases) was unsupported by the supplier, being five levels behind; it was running on an unsupported version of the Oracle database on end of life hardware and was at very high risk of failure. This was all updated and replaced within a very short period. Work is now in hand to update other key systems such as Libraries and the Council’s internet site.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: All our services have undergone a Public Value Review, which reflects Surrey County Council’s ambition to move from being a one-star to a world-class authority, by delivering improved outcomes and value for money for the residents of Surrey. The outcomes are expected to be services that place the Council in the top 25% of local authorities for performance and the lowest 25% for costs, as a result we are working on transformation programmes across all directorates and services.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: To support all transformation programmes, foster innovation to support new ways of working, to provide excellent day-to-day support and act as a strategic IT advisor to our services and partners.

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: In terms of social media usage we are working with FutureGov on a long term contract to review the way in which social networking can really help transform the council performance up to and beyond 2017. We are also supporting an Innovations network to encourage more radical approaches. To date this has paid dividends in our Libraries, Youth Transformation and Waste Permit work programmes - all of which have used mobile, innovative technologies to improve performance.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: We have just completed a programme of work to upgrade the desktop and laptop infrastructure to Windows 7 replacing around 7,500 devices spread over 200 locations including the provision of 4,000 laptops and 3,000 thin client devices. We have also started an extensive BYOD trial including iPads, iPhones, Androids, Playbooks and BlackBerry devices - this is progressing well and paving the way for a full BYOD rollout across the organisation.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: We are currently working closely with Microsoft, Citrix, IBM, Squiz and SAP technologies.

Transformational inspiration sources: Colleagues, CIO publications, Networking and supplier updates.