Sander Kristel, has been CIO for Staffordshire County Council for six years and has been a consistent innovator within the public sector.

When did you start your current role?
2007

Have you completed an MBA?
No

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:

  1. In-house
  2. Peer Group
  3. Vendors
  4. Consultant 
  5. Analyst

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
The succesful implementation of a shared CRM between most Local Authorities in Staffordshire and shared social Care system with Health.

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
Sharing of systems and information is crucial to efficient provision of services, reducing the confusion with the public on who delivers what services and the safeguarding of vulnerable (young) people. The implementation of these systems is supporting the total transformation of the organisation to becoming a commissioning organisation which has already seen 5,500 staff move from the council into other organisations.

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
Expansion of the Staffordshire Public Services Network (PSN) to include Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.

Name your strategic technology suppliers?
SAP, Microsoft, CareWorks, Lagan, Capita, Citrix, Cisco, KCom

What is the IT budget?
£18m of which about £8m is for provision to other organisations (traded).

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
Becoming more agile, efficient and coninuing to support the transformation of the organisation and supporting partnerships and alternative delivery methods. Furthermore we will be considering how technology can better support community engagement. There will also be a particular emphasis on back-office automation this year.

Transformation achievements

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

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
I was the commercial lead and trouble-shooter on the development of the £1.7bn Education Support services business, Entrust, which launched on the 1st April. This resulted in a unique business that provides end-to-end services and is now available to all education establishments in the UK. These services include services such as school improvement, Special Educational Needs advisory, Catering and Facilities Management.

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
I lead on the council's Localities programme which looks at the impact of decisions on local communities, community engagement, building capacity in communities and the voluntary sector and where services are most effectively commissioned.

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
More apps and mobile provision. More portal technology to provide cross agency information to the public and make end-to-end digital transactions available reagrdless of what organisation delivers those services. More public cloud. Considering more social media type tools to engage better with the public.

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?
The majority of our estate is run on our private cloud solution. A small percentage, including the CRM systems which is shared between most councils in Staffordshire, is run on of-prem 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?
We have provided virtualised desktops for some six years so the use of personal equipment has been extensive and has transformed the way people work. Social netwroking has now been well embedded as a means of communication and we are using social media technology to collaborate not only within the organisation but also with other providers or partners that we work closely with.

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?
Our willingness and drive around BYOD has been slowed down by the PSN security and compliance requirements and are currently on hold. Previously we ensured executives were both aware of the risks and the benefits and did analyses of the data that they were likely to access to assess the risks.

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
My Team, Peers, Social Media, Events, the press.

The CIO role in the business

Who do they report to?
CFO

Does the CIO have a seat on the board?
No

How often do you meet with the CEO?
Monthly

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?
No

What percentage of IT budget do you control and what percentage of IT budget does your digital peer hold?
I hold 100% of the budget.

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team?(What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
135 - in-house team. We have outsourced the management of our core PSN network, SAP basis and some other small elements.

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
We have split our IT organisation in Service Management and ICT Improvements. ICT Improvements is responsible for the relationship between the business and IT and includes a business engagement team which includes account managers, analysts and project managers.

How many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?
Approx. 8,500

What is the primary technology platform?
ERP (SAP), Website, People sytems (social care, young people systems), Cisco (UCS and networking), Virtualised desktops (Citrix)