CIO WaterCooler TV: Evolution of the CIO role with Ian Golding, Interim CIO, Natural History Museum

David Savage spoke with Ian Golding, Interim CIO at the Natural History Museum about the evolution of the CIO role, leadership and innovation.

Short on time? Skip to the good bits.

Centralise or Decentralise? 04’14

Would you like to centralise or decentralise everything? Many of my colleagues and I believe that neither is true. It’s important to have a central view for the government’s purposes, to see everything that’s going on across the organisation, and what’s invisible which can become a potential risk for the organisation? Or something that represents poor investment or low benefits realised for the mount of effort. So having very good central visibility and governance is really important. But it’s also really important to get out of the way of the day to day running of the solutions, and if you can delegate as much as possible or federate to other teams, that can be very empowering.

Staying relevant 05’28

If you can relate everything that’s going on to all the teams you’re dealing with, which can be very senior to very junior, in different parts of the organisation. But if you can relate it all to the mission or he purpose of an organisation, so life-saving, disease prevention, research – there’s a very clear purpose. If you can get people behind that, then everything can cascade from that common purpose. That’s a really important aspects, is to get people to not see what it is they do in their teams, or spot tactical initiatives that start and stop, but actually to how build the capability that over time leads the whole organisation to do something that is much more impactful of years to come.

Innovation 06’21

One interesting thing, given the number of sensors used in and around the Natural History Museum for environmental controls,  tracking of people, security, CCTV, WiFi – there are a lot of legacy systems that generate data, that are in the process of being modernised, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to use the digital twin concert, to take new IoT type sensors and systems to be more integrated, so that over time, over a number of years, the Museum will have a list of everything that’s going on in the Museum which is fantastic for the collection and the understanding that the collection is managed and well maintained. If you think ion the 86-million items in the collection, that are all been digitised. I think we’re up to four, four and a half million items been digitised in all shapes and sizes. The information from those digitised items in the collection can actually be used for scientific research or to access the physical items at another time. So it’s a tremendous opportunity to classify that in a digital twin vision. That is the technology vision for the Natural History Museum, that’s emerging, to use the digital twin concept to make sense of an otherwise very complex IoT environment.

Have Your Say: