Four years ago Greenwich Borough Council made a clean break from its legacy of failed ICT change projects. In as Chief Information Officer came Kevin Gibbs, whose success in turning the department into a hotbed of customer and organisation-focused change agents was recognised last year with his appointment as Director of Finance, which rolls up the roles of CIO, CFO and CHRO (chief HR officer) into one.

Last year, Gibbs took on a new data centre implementation at the same time as a major system upgrade and a data migration project. Some 230 virtual servers with a total of 130TB of data were moved, while the CRM system (which handles over 1,000 customer requests a day) went to the cloud, as did 300+ users with Office 365. He also extended the mobile estate to 1,000 users (25% of the user base). A big programme, but one with a very clear goal: to empower the workforce to use the data in the organisation to make better decisions at the point of decision.

To sharpen the ICT customer focus, Gibbs has brought the technology team into the customer service team – in effect, putting the toolmakers in with the team that depends entirely on those tools. The team all use the same CRM for logging jobs, handling customer service requests and reporting. He has also mainstreamed technology in the council by locating the customer service and ICT team in the corporate centre, alongside the other governance and control functions.