The blame culture is gone under Paul Brocklehurst, and staff are encouraged to share risks and issues helped by the agile approach of daily stand-ups and minimal viable products. IT underpins more customer self-service, quick and easy processes, longer hours of support as well as significant cost reduction. There is a vibrant production line of transformational products, with 100 digital projects in train at the moment, and another 100 queuing.
Name and job title
Paul Brocklehurst, CIO, Surrey County Council.
How are you influencing the products, experience and services your organisation offers to its customers?
IT is integral to the delivery of the organisation's strategy in terms of working differently with the residents, offering more self-service, quick and easy processes, longer hours of support while delivering significant cost reduction. We currently have in excess of 100 digital projects in train at the moment, with another 100 queuing. We are encouraging our services to be braver, more transformational and to work alongside IMT to deliver new innovative solutions.
How as CIO have you driven cultural and behaviour change in your organisation, and to what extent?
To a great extent, we have worked with the senior leaders in the organisation to amend our attitude to risk to support innovative digital solutions. We also facilitate technology boards in all areas of service to foster innovation and ensure that we work closely with each service to deliver the transformational changes they demand.
Define the key business outcomes that you have delivered over the past 12 months and their impact on your organisation's performance
In the last 12 months we have saved in excess of £70m per annum and helped transform all areas of service across all key directorates: adults, children, highways, trading standards, libraries, schools, fire and cultural services.
Describe how you have used organisational and third-party information to provide insight that has benefited your organisation, its customers and products or services
We have worked with neighbouring councils across SE7 (Hampshire, Kent, East and West Sussex, Brighton), boroughs and districts across Surrey, and other blue-light services (fire, police, health) to help drive change across the public sector. We also work closely with Gartner, EY, Future Gov and a range of thought-leaders to help provide insight into how technology can help transform the services we provide to residents.
Describe how you organise and operate IT and how this aligns effectively with business strategy and operations
As well as the monthly technology boards in each service, we have platform managers to ensure that all our change projects are in harmony with our organisational objectives.
Describe your role in the development of digital strategy in your organisation
We have a combined IT/digital strategy to harmonise our platforms, design principles, skills, tools and techniques. This ensures we maximise the digital opportunities before us in terms of using data more intelligently, radical service design and delivery.
Describe how you use and promote technology to redesign the processes, services and structures of your organisation to enable it to become more efficient and customer-focused
We have a number of digital exemplars underway in terms of customer management, intelligent use of data and better use of cloud computing. We have a combined digital/IT strategy managed by a single department and make use of the latest digital tools and techniques.
How do you engage regularly with your organisation about your team and the role of technology in the organisation, and what impact is this having?
We use regular updates, blogs, IMT forums, lunch and learn sessions, have started a joint digital course for our staff at Surrey University, and have created an innovation space (called Shift). This is having a profound impact on the organisation.
How do you use social networks to engage in conversations across the industry about the opportunities and challenges technology is creating?
We are active members of Socitm, SE7 and Scito in addition to a number of digital forums. We have also started a new models of delivery network to facilitate discussions about the art of the possible.
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?
Technology boards and networks for new models of deliver and continuous improvement help us align our strategies. We also have a four-year financial plan and a seat on the investment panel to ensure we are all working towards the same goals.
Describe how you keep up to date with developments in technology and IT management
Attending industry events, chair of the SE7 CIO Forum and active involvement in industry networking events.
Provide an example of how you have developed the diversity and improved the culture of your team
We have removed a blame culture and encouraged staff to share risks and issues. The agile approach of daily stand-ups and minimal viable products has helped. We also have E&D champions and an E&D assessment of all major projects.
Describe how you collaborate and influence the organisation and its leadership team
Technology boards (facilitated by one or two people from IMT and 10 or so from each service) really help here. A key part of the new models, customer and continuous improvement networks.
Tell us how you have developed your own management, leadership and personal skills
Attended the Iconic leadership programme across the SE7 counties, and lunch and learn sessions working with HR.
What new technologies are you investigating, tracking or experimenting with?
Data analytics (Tableau, Visionware), the internet of things with Surrey University, 5G, and wearable technology to help monitoring health and well-being in social care.
How do you decide where to apply the best technological approach?
Business cases, attend investment panels and seek industry advice as to best practice.
Do you give yourself and your team time each month to assess or learn about technology vendors outside of the established providers?
We conducted the modern worker programme by reviewing our top 30 or so suppliers to confirm that our strategies align. We have regular monthly updates with all key suppliers and make use of their facilities to host specific SE7 and Scito meetings.
Describe your sourcing strategy and your strategic suppliers
Mixed economy – private cloud, public cloud, outsourcing and also insourcing, it depends on what make strategic sense – BT, Microsoft, LiquidLogic, IBM, SAP, Cap Gemini, Visionware, Krome, Google, Esteem.
Describe the technology innovations that you have introduced in the last year and what they have enabled
O365, flexible working and improved collaboration, especially Skype for business, vulnerable citizens list and golden records of Visionware, customer management Zendesk, Unicorn network across Surrey public sector.
What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom? What uniquely do they bring?
BT Unicorn one common network and procurement framework across Surrey (10-year deal, £100m).
Rate how important your sources of innovative technology suppliers are
- Always referred to: CIO peers, industry body, media.
- Often use: consultants.
- Occasionally use: analyst houses.
Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?
How is cyber security led and discussed by senior management?
CIO chairs the information risk governance board and reports to cabinet on regular basis.
When did you start your current role?
What is your reporting line?
Strategic director business services.
Are you a member of the board of directors?
What is the annual IT budget?
£25m revenue, £6m capital.
How much of your IT budget is capital and how much revenue?
£25m revenue, £6m capital.
What is your budget's operational/development split?
How many users does your department supply services to?
Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO?
Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
How many employees are there in your IT team?
Are you increasing your headcount to bring skills and the ability to react to needs in-house?
What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
80% in-house, 20% outsourced.