Northamptonshire is located between the Midlands and East Anglia and has boundaries with eight other counties such as Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. The council is responsible for making the decisions regarding health care, employment, housing and education that affect nearly 700,000 people. The county council employs 17,000 people and has around a £1 billion budget to spend on public services such as schools, transport and emergency services. A large proportion of Northamptonshire’s economy is based in drinks manufacturing, as Carlsberg and Schweppes main production plants are based in the county. Northamptonshire also attracts a large amount of tourists through its motor racing venues which include Silverstone and Rockingham motor speedway.

The Council is a founder of the Local Government Shared Service (LGSS), along with Cambridgeshire County Council, the director and therefore CIO for both councils, Rocco Labellarte has the responsibility of delivering transactional services and providing ICT operations. The LGSS isn’t limited to IT and is a venture which encompasses procurement, legal services and human resources.

Labellarte has worked in IT roles at Calvin Klein, Suffolk County Council, Unilever and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

IT Leader: Rocco Labellarte, Director of Operations.

In role since: September 2010.

Reporting line: CEO.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Weekly.

Board level seat: Yes.

IT budget: £19 million (gross), 1% of turn over.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 10,000/80,000 across two county councils and one district council as a shared services.

IT staff currently employed: Circa 180.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 150/30 (permanent/contractors).

IT management team and reporting structure: Six direct reports.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Oracle eBusiness Suite R12.

Primary technology suppliers:  Oracle, Fujitsu, KCom, Virgin, BT, Dell, Avaya, Insight, Microsoft.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 25%.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Oracle R12 upgrade. Fewer customisations, more automation.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Under cost, on time, delivered upgrade.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Shared services growth agenda – on-boarding Norwich City Council (Finance, Revenues & Benefits, IT).

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Automation.

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: Move to self-service.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Options and recommendations go to the executive board for decision making.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: Cloud solutions, central hosting solutions.

Transformational inspiration sources: Own experience, national and global economic signals, networking.