As one of the very few CIOs who can credibly boast hundreds of millions of pounds in savings from operational efficiencies is Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions, Mayank Prakash.
The enormous £400 million saving comes from a combination of designing and delivering digital services and fraud products for 22 million UK citizens, successfully completing Europe's largest infrastructure migration to hybrid cloud, and hiking operational service availability for colleagues and customers by around 50% for the third consecutive year.
Prakash is a champion of 'leapfrog' technologies (small and incremental innovations). In 2017, his leapfrog experiments included trialling blockchain technology to enable benefit claimants to use a mobile app to track their welfare payments.
A further innovation from his team is the development of an application to help policymakers safely explore open data by geography, time and characteristics. The app lets users across the whole of government quickly and easily obtain the data they need. Meanwhile neural networks are being used to look for patterns in the way customers access job-search support, and machine learning algorithms are helping to reduce fraud and improve policy design and operational processes.
Prakash is also disrupting the decades-old business model of 'the business' commissioning predefined requirements from 'IT'. He has put digital design at the heart of DWP's strategic planning, giving DWP Digital an equal voice with policy and operations in defining solutions that meet user needs as well as policy objectives.
Within DWP Digital itself, the past year has seen Prakash establishing more professional communities to help create what aspires to be a world-class practice-led community. All staff have been given the opportunity to align themselves to a community based on their skills and interests, to create a culture that encourages them to explore their potential rather than be told to do something.