The UK waste management industry is not renowned for being at the forefront of technology, but Paul Leonard persuaded the business to invest over £1m in replacing core ERP systems and introducing in-cab technology and onboard weighing to its vehicles. ROI is expected within two years, the company's customers can comply with regulations on waste management, and William Tracey has the attractive prospect of becoming the sector leader, with best-of-breed systems and processes.

When did you start your current role as head of IT and business change at William Tracey Group?
2013.

What is your reporting line?
Finance director.

Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week?
Yes.

Are you a member of the board of directors?
No.

What other executive boards do you sit on?
None.

Does your organisation have a CDO?
No.

What non-technology responsibilities do you have in the organisation?
I am also responsible for business change and facilities management.

How many employees does your organisation have?
470.

Does your organisation carry out significant trade in the EU?
Yes.

How many users does your department supply services to?
200.

How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?
I regularly hold meetings with the divisional managing directors to ensure I align my team with their business goals, challenges and projects. I have also developed business partner and business analyst relationships with our business divisions. I also regularly hold meetings with employees across our business, from drivers to supervisors, managers and directors.

William Tracey technology strategy and agenda

Is your organisation being disrupted by the internet, mobility or technology-oriented start-ups?
No.

Are you empowered by your organisation to disrupt from the inside?
Yes.

Describe a disruptive measure you’ve led or played a major part in
A disruptive measure which has led to a massive transformation in our business is the introduction of in-cab technology and onboard weighing to our fleet. The waste management industry in the UK is not renowned for being at the forefront of technology, but after researching technologies across the EU and US I persuaded our business to invest over £1m in the replacement of core ERP systems and onboard technology, which is transforming our internal business and our relationships with our customers, suppliers and regulators.

What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation?
The system replacement and onboard technology project described in the previous point. We invested over £1m to replace four core finance, ERP, business intelligence and purchase-to-pay systems, introduced mobile technology and moved systems to the cloud.

What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation?
Our people are now energised to believe in what they do and to be involved in bringing real change to our business. We will gain ROI within two years, our customers can comply with legal regulations on waste management, and we can become the industry leader in our market, with best-of-breed systems and processes.

How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation project?
I lead from the front and have carried out jobs in every department to gain an understanding of how the changes I introduce affect individuals and teams. This leads to great relationships at all levels, real buy-in and a feeling of involvement at all levels.

What key technologies do you consider enable transformation?
Cloud and virtualisation.

Are you increasing the number of cloud applications or infrastructure in use at your organisation?
Yes.

What is your information and data analytics vision for the organisation?
That any user of information in our business, whether employee or customer, can get the information they need in a timely and suitable format without the need to involve IT or finance.

How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience?
Mobile is helping us deliver real-time information to customers, and ensures that we can get information to our fleet in a timely, reliable and accurate manner. Our customer satisfaction has increased significantly due to our relatively recent use of mobile technology.

Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice?
BYOD and shadow IT are both tools to improve employee satisfaction. It is not for IT to decide which device is best for you. In the same way we don't choose a company car for someone, why should we choose their mobile device?

What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom?
We have strategic deals with Microsoft, Misco and Qlik.

Who are your main suppliers?
Misco, TSG, Microsoft, BT, EE and Virgin Media.

William Tracey IT security and budget

Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?
No.

Has cyber-security risen up your management agenda?
Yes.

Does your organisation understand the potential cyber-security threats it faces?
Yes.

Has this led to an increase in your security budget?
Yes.

What is the IT budget?
£1m.

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
To build on our core infrastructure, move suitable systems to the cloud and move our in-house systems to hosted datacentres.

Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
No.

Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO?
Yes.

Are you looking for recruits in the EU to fill the skills shortage you have?
No.

Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Yes.

William Tracey technology department

How would you describe your leadership style?
My style is that of an advocate. I instinctively act as the cheerleader of change. I am relentless in driving and championing ideas or strategic positions

Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision
Our board-level directors as well as our senior divisional managers are more knowledgeable on what technology can do to help them achieve their goals as I have close relationships with them and ensure my teams are embedded within their divisions to give advice and assistance whenever required. I have also become involved in industry and government projects, which ensures as wide a possible impact on the delivery of change by my team.

How many employees are in your IT team?
10.

What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
Nine in-house, one contractor.

Does your team include key skilled workers from the EU?
Yes.