Charity City & Guilds is a vocational education organisation helping people find a job and progress in their career. It offers more than 500 qualifications over a range of industries through 8,500 colleges in 81 countries worldwide.

When did you start your current role?

Have you completed an MBA?

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:
1. Analyst
2. Vendors
3. Peer group
4. Consultant
5. In-house

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
There are several transformation projects. Starting with commoditised IT, we're enabling our staff to access their desktop on any device, IPAD, Mac or PC securely. Building on this we've enabled new capability migrating services to the cloud such as Office 365 and Office 2013, group wide video conferencing globally.We've changed our infracture to cope, broadband, network and enabled wifi. Combining this with a managed voice implementation this will enable smartphones combined with Lync. Our business can enjoy working from anywhere in the world and your phone follows you enabling our workforce whilst reducing operating expenses.

With business enabled IT, we are digitising our content so that we can publish to any medium, print or "E". We are transforming how we integrate across applications by enabling true Service Orientated Architecture, delivering quicker and faster to market.

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
Commoditised IT is enabling BOYD and challenging our business as to whether they need a mobile, softphone or a deskphone. Reduction in travel, video conferencing and greater business collaboration using Sharepoint 2013.  We introduced social media using blogging that has really connecting with our employees.

Digitising our content will revolutionise how we produce qualifications and e-learning material quicker and faster to market. This will be an enabler to offer new products and services since much of the information we need to utilise is not readily available today. Our integration programme will change how we do business by rationalising complex process today in our ERP solution but move complexity into more agile technologies.

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?

  • Managed voice infrastructure, Pay Per Use contact Centre solution, Mobile optimisation
  • WAN
  • Hosting Consolidation

Name your strategic technology suppliers?

  • Azzurri
  • Attenda
  • Microsoft
  • SAP
  • Risual

What is the IT budget?
£8 million opex
£3-6 million capex

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
To deliver "Commoditised IT" to empower our workforce with the right tools, whilst enabling simplicity. Utilise cloud based technologies where it is commercially attractive and is at acceptable risk

Business Enabled IT to deliver and transform our business by delivering optimised processes that are flexible and agile and to digitise our content.

Transformation achievements

Would you describe the CIO role as a transformation leader in your organisation?

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
By delivering a desktop that can work on any device has enabled hotdesking in our new building, a culture change. By delivering a thin client is faster and more effective to support customer  contacts reducing this  by over 70%. Delivering Wifi, enables and fixes security issues with BOYD and enables the use of iPad's or your own device.

Overhauling our website from extremely old technology to a new optimised technology Sitecore (won sitecore award) has improved our customer engagement. Leading on how this aligns to our technology vision and future enabler working closely with our CMO delivered a great website that integrates into our ERP solution.

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
I am part of our new customer proposition experience boards that looks at how we deliver an improved customer experience

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
Microsoft Biztalk
Azure / AWS

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?

How is the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and social networking impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation at present?
Our employees are starting to use their own devices when they want and are not demanding this from IT. We use basic forms of social media such as blogging that has really helped to connect our business.

Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives, place the right controls around employee choice and engage with the organisation on this issue?
Shadow IT has been controlled through the Architecture Governance Board, reporting to Group Board. This has stopped new applications being bought into the organisation. This group chaired by the CIO has business executives who are responsible for customer, data, operational and product. Principles have been agreed and ratified for business users to create b-spoke applications using Azure- cloud and they can pay for what they use. BYOD is a choice for our staff who are starting to use it, some people bring in their own iPad, MAC etc. For mobile our staff can access email if they want to from their  own device, it is their choice.

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
From understanding what's happening in the market and applying this to our business

The CIO role in the business

Who do you report to?

Does the CIO have a seat on the board?

How often do you meet with the CEO?

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team? (What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
55 permanent staff with a blend of outsourced activities

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
Manager of Business Partners - these manage the relationships with our business units
SAP Applications Manager - responsible for functional and technical resource
Microsoft Applications Manager - responsible for microsoft development
Service and Infrastructure Manager - responsible for financials, contracts, service desk and infrastructure
Manager of Architecture - responsible for enterprise and data architecture for the group

And how many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?

What is the primary technology platform? ( for example ERP, Website, trading system)
Sitecore,ERP,Learning Content Management System, Dot Net applications