CIO Insight: An introduction to Digital Disruption

Alex Farr

Since starting my career back in 2000, I have quickly progressed through the IT industry. I feel I have gained valuable experience during my career which has allowed me to turn my hand to many IT projects for many different organisations and exposed me to the latest technologies and skills including Cloud Services, Virtualisation, Office 365, BYOD, Business Continuity, Networking, Active Directory, security and much more. In 2010 I progressed into Management, this led to me becoming the IT System Manager for The All England Netball Association. I spearheaded one of the biggest projects the business had ever taken on in completely redesigning, implementing and supporting a new back office system for over 100 remote users as well as internal staff including 2 offices. My second management job saw me move to company called Bounty UK Ltd, a global organisation with over 400 employees with offices in the UK, America and Hong Kong. Managing a team of 6 and upto 60 servers it was certainly a different environment. I then moved to Transport Systems Catapult as IT Manager, it was a unique opportunity at a green field site with a start-up company funded by Innovate UK which I have been able to shape in my image. I was responsible for the complete infrastructure, IT policies & procedures, managing the IT department, relationship management with the business and launching the centre of innovation in Milton Keynes. Following a promotion I am now Head of IT across two of the Catapults, Energy Systems and Transport Systems, heading up two IT departments across two sites. I believe very much in transforming the perception of the IT department to being a key enabler for the business, an IT professional should be approachable, responsive, think creatively and have a positive "can do" attitude rather than listing all the reasons why something can't be done and shying away from taking intelligent risks.

1 Response

  1. Alex,

    Great article!

    Had wanted to attend the Gartner symposium and really appreciate the insights & feedback.

    Personally, I would challenge the Bi-Modal IT concept. For me, digital requires a **multi-model approach**.

    I say “multi-model” purely because the business change and benefits realisation activities that are typically managed/led by business stakeholders should also be added into the mix to ensure that both Business and IT interests are combined to deliver sustainable digital transformation with the right representation & sponsorship.

    Additionally, if we focus purely on IT, the Open Group has an operating-model type framework for helping IT transform and manage its internal processes, priorities (e.g. Mode 1 and Mode 2 activities) and change initiatives necessary to keep it relevant, innovative and business focused. This framework is known as “IT4IT”.

    Should you require further information about IT4IT, let me know.

    Best regards,

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