In the highly centralised organisation that is Carillion, IT is seen as a key enabler for change. A pragmatic Richard Gifford has introduced BPM/CRM software to reduce costs and improve the agility of the business so it can enter new sectors and markets.

Job title
CIO and transformation director at Carillion.

When did you start your current role?
January 2012.

What is your reporting line?
CEO.

Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week?
Yes, regular discussions. Strategy is formally discussed in support of business goals quarterly.

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

What other executive boards do you sit on?
Construction services, group services.

Does your organisation have a CDO?
No.

How many employees does your organisation have?
Around 40,000.

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

How many users does your department supply services to?
Around 20,000.

How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?
As well as working closely with the key stakeholders I spend time in the business at the coalface, meeting with people who are undertaking day-to-day operations. I also spend time in business/contract reviews with our customers to understand the quality of service delivery and the innovations that the business and customers could take advantage of.

Carillion 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
We have introduced BPM/CRM software to reduce costs and improve agility of the business, enabling entry into new sectors/markets.

What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation?
Health and safety is key in our industry. We have recently transformed the way near-misses and incidents are reported via a mobile/web app. Through the BI this is greatly improving our performance in this area and has the potential to be a mould breaker in the industry.

What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation?
More lives saved, fewer injuries, increased quality of delivery to our customers.

How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation project?
By bringing together a large number of stakeholders to define a common vision, and through energy and enthusiasm driving the team through all the obstacles. On the technical side, putting in place all the vendors required to deliver this and also to serve as a basis for all future mobility transformations.

What key technologies do you consider enable transformation?
Mobility – MEAP, smartphones, tablets, BPM, CRM.

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?
To embed analytics across the company, to empower decision-makers to use information to improve performance and drive strategic decision-making, to better predict and proactively solve problems, and to outperform competitors. This is a pragmatic vision where we have a number of projects within our business units.

How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience?
Mobile as described above. We have developed a mobile strategy for each of the business units and will be working throughout 2015 to execute it. The objective is to digitise our business, driving efficiency through our businesses and ensuring a right-first-time approach for our customers.

Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice?
Carillion is a highly centralised organisation where IT is seen as a key enabler for change and is structured for both internal and external change. As such shadow IT is minimal. BYOD is limited to smartphones at this stage. As we have many MoD-type contracts I don't see this increasing. We regularly engage with senior staff around desktop/smartphones/risk and seek to provide appropriate solutions.

What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom?
• Wipro as our outsourced partner
• 02 for mobility
• Common time/K2 for mobile apps/workflow
• Microsoft – Enterprise Agreement
• Pega – BPM

Who are your main suppliers?
BT, Wipro, Microsoft, Oracle

Carillion 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?
£60m.

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
To keep operating costs to a minimum and to drive innovation and continuous improvement across all business areas. Full leverage of mature technologies, software as a service and infrastructure as a service.

Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
Yes.

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?
Yes.

Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Yes.

Carillion technology department

How would you describe your leadership style?
Democratic, develops a vision and turns it into reality, innovative, team player, friendly.

Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision
I have been developing the team for higher performance using the Lencioni model, facilitated by an external organisation and internal HR. As a result the team are working much better and the gains have been good so far.

How many employees are in your IT team?
60 retained staff.

What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
20% in-house, 80% outsourced (both onshore and offshore).

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