Andy Nelson, head of IT at the Ministry of Justice, is set to become the government's chief information officer.
The news comes after Joe Harley announced he will be resigning from the post at the end of March.
Alongside the promotion, Nelson will also retain the title of chief information officer at the MoJ. Nelson has also worked as IT director at insurer Royal Sun Alliance, as computer services director at supermarket Asda, and spent a year as a management consultant at Accenture.
Ian Watmore, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, said: "It is fantastic to be able to assign the role of government CIO to someone who has held major CIO roles in private sector and has been involved in the ICT strategy since the very beginning.
"Andy has worked closely with Joe over the past months and will continue to do so – ensuring that we continue to deliver ICT services fit for a modern civil service."
Nelson is expected to focus on continued efficiency improvements in government IT, the opening of contracts to more small suppliers, and the G-Cloud programme for cloud computing. He will take up his post at a challenging time when departmental budgets are squeezed and the government is attempting to cancel its largest IT scheme, the NHS National Programme for IT.