Business colleagues are people, not users, Greg Morley insists. It’s one of the features of his leadership. He is confronting the prejudice about IT owning everything with a plug, and engaging key parts of the business in decision-making about their IT requirements and investment. The result is that the IT team often takes a back seat and plays a supporting role, which typically produces a more equitable and respectful partnership.

Job title
Chief information officer

How are you influencing the products, customer experience and services your organisation offers to its customers?
Via multiple spheres of influence across our sector, including internal business forums, internal customers, client conversations, peer conversations and vendor discussions.

Define the key business outcomes that you have delivered over the last 12 months and their impact on your organisation’s performance
Moving to Office 365 Enterprise has simplified licensing. We moved to a more manageable opex model and provided a wealth of digital services and performance improvements to our business. Other key IT services are following, or plan to follow, a similar model.

What has been your involvement with innovation at your organisation – in particular, with products, business model and technology – over the last 12 months?
Innovation continues to be at the heart of my CIO role, reviewing where our sector is headed and how the roadmap can be influenced by change. This could be through innovating at the level of product, business model or technology – or sometimes a combination thereof.

How have you delivered cultural and behavioural change as a CIO within the IT department and/or more broadly across the organisation?
With the IT function we strive to be accountable and original within the dual roles of problem-solving and servicing the business. As a team we espouse a strong can-do spirit. We see our colleagues across the business as fellow humans, not ‘users’. Through broad engagement in different spheres of influence, we endeavour to practise what we preach.

How have you worked with your CEO and/or board to communicate whatever ‘digital’ and IT means to your organisation/sector and improve digital literacy at the highest levels of the organisation?
Digital literacy is regularly communicated at all levels of the organisation through workshops, intranet, noticeboards or email briefings and advisories. An example has been cybersecurity and keeping staff informed via regular email and intranet advisories such as ‘Anatomy of a malicious email’, a cybersecurity section at our welcome day for new starters, a collection of cybersecurity dos and don’ts posters for staff noticeboards around the country, and a board workshop about cybersecurity risk and mitigation.

How have you worked with the technology and IT vendor market to achieve your business goals? How have you been able to influence IT suppliers and successfully manage your partnerships/relationships with large IT companies, SMEs and startups?
One of the main drivers in my role is removing stigma about IT owning everything with a plug, and engaging key parts of the business in decision-making about IT requirements and investment. In many instances this means the CIO and IT team take a back seat and play a supporting role instead to guide operational parts of the business through understanding their requirements and guiding the procurement process. This approach works well with vendors and service providers, and generally leads to a more equitable and respectful partnership.

How have you tried to develop the diversity of your team?
I personally try to get involved in STEM activities outside the workplace and bring the experience back into the business. My team has recently employed a school leaver with no qualifications, but she brings a huge amount of passion, nous and fresh energy to the business. We also run a graduate employment mentoring (GEM) programme within the business which exposes young graduates to a variety of functions and services across the organisation.

Describe how you organise and operate IT and how this aligns effectively with business strategy and operations
IT is formally organised into two teams, IT operations and infrastructure. There is naturally a lot of functional cross-over and inter-team engagement on projects. The structure supports the operations and strategy of the business by providing the relevant expertise and experience at all times. The IT function is run very lean, requiring solid relationships with key vendors and service providers in a flexible and cost-effective model.

What strategic technology deals have you made in the last year and who are your main suppliers and IT partners?
Following a merger in September 2014 we are consolidating and rationalising disparate systems and contracts. Recent examples: two finance systems into a single new ERP via Eque2, two HR systems consolidated into a single system via Advance, two legacy mobile contracts rationalised into a new single contract via Onecom/Vodafone. At the time of writing other imminent and pending deals are at a commercially sensitive stage.

What are your key strategic aims for next year?
Migration of key workloads into IaaS and PaaS services, desktop migration to Windows 10 Enterprise, group-wide rollout of Citrix XenApp, implementation of a new AEC-specific SaaS ECM, and potential partnering for IoT services.

How are you preparing for any impacts Brexit might have on your organisation?
Current and new contracts are being reviewed for GDPR and post-Brexit impact. This includes data geolocation.

YOUR ROLE

When did you start your current role?
Current CIO role: April 2015

What is your reporting line?
CFO

Are you a member of the executive leadership?
Yes

Are you a member of the board of directors?
No

How often do you meet with your organisation’s CEO or equivalent?
Fortnightly or as required.

How many people at your organisation does your function supply services to?
650

BUDGETS

What is your annual IT budget, or your spend as a proportion of the organisation’s revenue?
£2.5m

What percentage of your budget is operational spend (ie keeping the lights on) and how much new development (ie innovation, R&D, exploratory IT)?
Operational 58%, new developments 42%.

CIO INFLUENCES

Rank the following sources of advice/information in order of importance:

  1. Consultants
  2. CIO peers
  3. Industry bodies
  4. Media
  5. Analyst houses

IT SECURITY

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

Are you expecting an increase in budget specific to security in order to tackle the cyber threat?
Yes

Does your organisation have a designated security professional – CISO or otherwise – and what is their relationship to you?
Infrastructure manager – direct report.

RECRUITMENT

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

Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Yes

How many employees are there in your IT team?
11

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

TECHNOLOGY

Which technologies or areas are you expecting to be investing in over the next year?

  • cloud
  • ERP
  • CRM
  • security
  • devices (mobile)
  • devices (desktop)
  • MFD
  • ECM.

Which technologies or areas are you expecting to be investing in over the next one to three years?

  • cloud
  • data analytics/business intelligence
  • IoT
  • enterprise applications
  • networking/communications.

What emerging technologies are you investigating or expect to have a big impact on your sector or organisation?
IoT is likely to have a significant impact in respect of sensors in buildings during the build process and in the completed product. A number of other emerging technologies are already playing a role: AR/VR, drones, 3D concrete printing, deep learning in combination with BIM.

THE EU

Does your organisation do a significant amount of trade with the EU?
No

Does your department include technology staff from the EU?
No

Are you or have you been looking to the EU to recruit key skills?
No