Arup is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom which provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is present in Africa, the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and has over 10,000 staff based in 92 offices across 42 countries. Arup has participated in projects in over 160 countries.

Arup is owned by trusts, the beneficiaries of which are Arup's past and present employees, who receive a share of the firm's operating profit each year.

IT leader: Richard Cross, Group CIO.

In role since: Since January 2011.

Reporting line: CEO.

Board level seat: Group Executive Board.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Telstra  to provide IP VPN and Global Internet services across 65 sites in the network spanning Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, ensuring fast reliable and secure delivery of corporate application traffic.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: We are adopting more cloud and software-as-a-service systems as they fit the model of any time, any place, any device.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Cross has put in a software based virtual private network (VPN) to protect the sensitive material.

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 have some very good skills networks and a really strong staff skills database. So I am challenging people to think about the future and the next potential step change – placing this into a social networking context.

I took some of our Group Board to Silicon Valley and met with Google and other innovators looking at how we can embrace social media.

I am keen to embrace consumerisation and support any time, any place, any device. My role is trying to make Arup on the internet a place to work, but to make things available on the internet there are challenges with legacy. So I am trying work out what we run globally as an operating model to ensure we act and feel consistent. There is standardisation in the licensing and network to drive out some value.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: This is an environment of very smart people, many are PhD educated. Everyone here is very engaged and wants the very best for the company and so it is demanding and stimulating. Driving through consistent standards can be challenging.