CIO Challenges & Opportunities

Phil Brown, Group IT Director for Amey

David speaks with Phil Brown, Group IT Director for Amey; they discuss some of the challenges Phil faces in terms of business complexity, people and skills. CIOs face an array of common and unique challenges. Through sharing them, and the lessons learned along the way, we can help peers progress their objectives.

Also on the CIO WaterCooler
Delivering Digital as an Interim

The challenges – 00:01:13

Our company has evolved. We’re a contract-based business, we bring in work that may be outsourced by our customers. We take it in, sometimes we take in the systems with it, sometimes the employees as well. So we’ve grown a whole estate from a technology perspective that is quite fragmented and is in need of transformation. We have lots of opportunities from a digital perspective as everyone does. Trying to transform 300, 400 systems in a low margin business, well that’s impossible. So we have look at, what’s the right model from a tech and business perspective going forward? Trying to align how we deliver services to that, rather than trying to evolve from where we are today.

Having the right people – 00:02:20

Our people are the most important asset that we have. We put our people first genuinely at Amey. A lot of our IT department have been with the company 12, 15, 20 years. We want to retain their skills, we need to develop their skills but we also have to look at where they want to be, four, five years’ time and we want to take them on the journey with us. At the same time, we’re looking at, well where are we recruiting from, we ‘re recruiting from a different generation now as well. How do we make ourselves attractive to a new generation that isn’t going to bring those skills? We don’t want to put off either of the target group we want to look after. Trying to balance the interests of all these people, with different capabilities and interests is a real challenge for us.

New skill sets – 00:03:13

People are coming in with different skill sets than the people we have today. We are more interested in their capabilities and aptitudes than the specific skills sets they bring. If you’re looking for an application developer, you willed someone with some of the background. But are they likely to have all the technical skills we are after, we can teach technical skills.

CIO WaterCooler