United Living Group CIO Greg Morley wants to constantly challenge the status quo and drive all things digital, while aligning IT with the business strategy following a merger that has brought together two IT teams.

Name and job title
Greg Morley, CIO, United Living Group

How are you influencing the products, experience and services your organisation offers to its customers?
Major influencer, driving transformational investment in IT

How as CIO have you affected cultural change and / or behaviour in your organisation and to what extent?
Using technology to drive efficiency gains and improve transparency, delivering positive tweaks to culture

Define the key business outcomes that you have delivered over the last 12 months and their impact on your organisation’s company performance
Key integration role for two businesses from initial due diligence to post-merger; constantly driving message about creating sustainable culture. Great outcome to get the required investment in tech transformation, staff and clients already seeing benefits.

Describe how you have used organisational and third party information to provide insight that has benefited your organisation, its customers and products or services
Research and case studies combined with internal data analysis to drive case for transformational investment and change.

Describe how you organise and operate IT and how this aligns effectively with business strategy and operations
Through merger we've been extremely fortunate to retain and integrate two excellent IT teams, which has been instrumental in successful IT organisation and operations. IT aligns closely to business strategy and operations through regular participation at all levels and functions of the business to ensure constant & careful course corrections as we go.

Describe your role in the development of digital strategy in your organisation
Key role, driving all things digital, working closely with stakeholders, communicators, facilitators.

How do you engage regularly with your organisation (e.g. via a blog/seminars/newsletter etc.) about your team and the role of technology in the organisation and what impact is this having?
IT briefings, intranet, regular change control notifications, service status board, ongoing workshops, clinics, communication campaigns. Positive impact by demystifying and destigmatising IT services.

How do you use social networks to engage in conversations across the industry about the opportunities and challenges technology is creating?
Use social media to complement rather than replace traditional networking and conversations.

How do you bring the organisation together to explore and discuss technology and its challenges and to develop stronger alignment of the technology function with the full business?
Develop and nurture strong relationships within key areas. Ensure capture of experience from new starters (from competitors or graduates). Ensure younger audience is not only heard but is also given a place at the table.

Describe how you keep up to date with developments in technology and IT management e.g horizon scanning, technology strategy workshops, involvement in industry events and bodies
Peer discussion, roundtable events, selective technology days, social media groups, monitoring developments and trends in other sectors or countries. And lots of reading.

Provide an example of how you have developed the diversity and improved the culture of your team
The team is geographically distributed so we hold regular team sessions over two-day period including offline time after hours. Team is 40% female with two senior management positions held by a woman. Fostering culture of inclusivity by maintaining open-plan, approachable leadership style.

Describe how you collaborate and influence the organisation and its leadership team
Formally via regular leadership meetings and forums. Informally via ad hoc engagement and dinner conversations with colleagues.

Tell us how you have developed your own management, leadership and personal skills, perhaps through mentoring, training or external activities
Roadmap via military backgound, mediation & arbitration. Constantly challenge status quo. Recognise a good thing when I see it and deal decisively with the bad.

How do you decide where to apply the best technological approach – e.g. from consuming services from the cloud or on-premise products through to spinning up in-house development teams for bespoke work?
Much of it has been driven by merging two businesses and needing to make quick investment decisions. Can also be driven by cost or savings, licence efficiency, security or complementary investments.

Do you give yourself and your team time each month to assess or learn about technology vendors outside of the established providers?
Not a fixed monthly assignment but learning and assessment opportunities are encouraged whenever appropriate.

Describe your sourcing strategy and your strategic suppliers
Subject to what is being sourced and why - larger procurement follows a formal procurement process whereas in our post-merger state we still have a glut of  supplier and partner to draw on for smaller projects. Word of mouth and other research plays an important role.

Describe the technology innovations that you have introduced in the last year and what they have enabled
Post-merger consolidation of LOB systems to drive efficiency and cost savings, data migration projects to drive data cleansing & auditing, MDM, ERP, HR, SharePoint, Office 365 Enterprise, Project Management technology

What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom? What uniquely do they bring?
Microsoft licence consolidation from legacy perpetual to EA/ECS/MPSA. Microsoft technology has been a key part of our technology transformation including Office 365, ERP, CRM, SharePoint, therefore imperative to ensure the right deal was struck to ensure long-term relationship including with LAR.

How do you rate the following as sources of innovative technology suppliers:
Analyst Houses - Never use
Consultants - Often use
CIO Peers - Often use
Industry Body - Often use
Media - Often use

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

How is cyber-security led and discussed by senior management?
360-degree approach, starting with core competencies of job roles, through to ensuring interlocking security approach across projects and technologies.

What is your reporting line?
CFO

Are you a member of the board of directors?
No

What is the annual IT budget?
£2.75m

How much of your IT budget is capital and how much revenue?
55/45

What percentage of your budget is spent on:
IT operational spend ("keeping the lights on") - 73%
New developments (innovation) - 27%

What number of users does your department supply services to?
650

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

Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Being developed for 2016/17

How many employees are there in your IT team?
11

Are you increasing your headcount to bring skills and the ability to react to needs in-house?
Yes

What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
10/1