The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and George Eliot. Warwickshire has a two-tier structure of local government. Warwickshire is divided into five districts each with their own district councils.

The county also has a county council based in Warwick which is elected every four years (the last election was held on 4 June 2009 the same day as the European Elections), is currently controlled by the Conservative Party and operates a cabinet-style council. The county council is made of 62 councillors, who decide upon the budget and appoints the council leader. The council leader selects 2-9 councillors and together they form the cabinet. The Leader assigns portfolios on which cabinet members make decisions. Key decisions are made by the whole cabinet while others are made only by the portfolio holders for relevant areas.

 IT leader: Tonino Ciuffini, Head of Information Assets.

In role since: Six years as Head of IT.

Reporting line: Report to the Strategic Director of Resources who reports to the Chief Executive.

Board level seat: Not on the top board of five, but at the next level Leadership Team.

IT budget: Expenditure Budget excluding schools arena is £12,097,829 it should be noted that some software licences are still paid by services rather than ICT.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Approximately 5,000 in the Corporate arena, tens of thousands more use our network and facilities in the schools arena.

IT staff currently employed: 183 in the Corporate Arena, and 47 in the Schools Arena, although these figures do include some short term contractors.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: We only have a very small number of services from out-sourced staff, we are 99% in-house, although as mentioned above do include some contractors in those figures.

IT management team and reporting structure: I have five reports:

  • Production Services Manager.
  • Customer & Supplier Services Manager.
  • Strategy, Programme & Information.
  • Systems Development & Architecture.
  • Schools and Network Manager.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: We use Oracle for HR, Agresso for Financials and are currently moving from Notes to Google for e-Mail and Google Apps for Business, and Microsoft particularly in the schools business area.

Primary technology suppliers: Oracle, Agresso, Google, Microsoft, BT and Virgin are both key suppliers in the network arena.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Major deal is procurement of Google Mail and Apps via CTS as part of a pilot that we led for the G-Cloud Project. We are also in procurement stages for both BDUK where we are leading on behalf of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership, and the WM Midlands PSN where we are planning to be one of the early adopters of the Regional Project being led by Solihull.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Google Mail and Apps pilot as a G-Cloud Project Foundation Delivery Partner. Now moving on to full roll-out. We have also completed the implementation of the core Financial Systems, and a new Schools Learning Platform based on Office 365.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: The core Financial Systems project was delivered within agreed timeframes and within allocated budgets, although there are still phases to be completed. The project has delivered some key transformational targets, new processes and is operating on reduced staffing although it is still early stages of bedding these in.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: As well as delivering improved business systems, we are also delivering on mobile and flexible working and property rationalisation. The Google move enables easier mobile and remote access across a range of devices and locations also facilitating joint working with other public sector agencies. We are also currently developing a Warwickshire Digital by Default Strategy and IT has been asked to take a lead in this area.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: From an IT service perspective having just completed a Strategic Commissioning review, the implementation of the recommendations from and the continued delivery of IT services the business requires. From a business perspective, the Digital by Default agenda and delivery of better services for our citizens at lower costs to help WCC protect front-line services to the public.

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: Our adoption of Google email and Apps is facilitating not only more flexible working, but also increased collaboration both internally and with partners. It is also helping with the adoption of consumer devices where we are seeing major demand from our customers. The adoption of the product as a Cloud Software as a Service implementation is also allowing us to complete technical implementations more quickly.

Increased adoption of shared services to both help us reduce costs and increase joint working, both of which I believe will be critical to maintaining local public services in the current and future financial outlook.

Transformational inspiration sources: Anywhere, happy to ‘steal’ but key sources are activities/ideas from other local authority organisations via Regional contacts and SOCITM. Personally I pick up suggestions from my colleagues on the Local CIO Council and G-Cloud Project Board.