Leading CIOs new to the 2016 CIO 100

We profile the UK CIOs who featured in the CIO 100 for the first time in 2016. Here are some of the UK’s new faces in the CIO 100, and a short description of what makes them technology and business leaders inducted in the CIO 100.

As well as established leaders not previously recognised, the 2016 CIO 100 featured an unprecedented amount of new talent – fresh-thinking, disruptive and transformative business leaders who are driving their organisations forward through digital. Here we profile the UK CIOs who made it into the CIO 100 for the first time in 2016, finding out what is it that makes them the UK’s most transformative new business leaders.

Each one of these six women and 19 men represents the future of UK business and industry. So let’s meet those making waves in the UK CIO community.

A 2016 CIO high-flyer, Rachel Dunscombe is CIO at two NHS organisations, including in Bolton where she helped the hospital become the first NHS organisation to turn around both quality and financial deficit while delivering the second highest cost savings in the NHS. Dunscombe has diverted ambulances, and dealt with suicide and attacks on staff as part of her hospital director on call role. Even more impressively she has shown how IT and digital can play the central role in raising quality, lowering a financial deficit and delivering the second highest cost savings in the NHS.

Home Office CTO Sarah Wilkinson was a 2015 CIO Summit speaker, has written exclusively for CIO UK on a new style of IT strategy for 2016, and was lauded in the 2016 CIO 100. Wilkinson’s arrival at the Home Office in 2015 ushered in an era of major transformation. Underperforming and expensive contracts, a history of major programme failures, and a client organisation with no faith in the IT department’s ability to deliver were very public problems. Just over a year on and it’s all looking very different: rejuvenation, vision and confidence have all reappeared.

An IT director in full control of his department, his technology and his vision. Home Group IT Director David Redpath makes CIO 100 debut. David works as part of the change senior leadership team, and the values steering group, at Home Group. Thus he is able to influence areas outside of traditional IT. This in turn has let to a 2% hike in employee engagement, a 10% rise in staff confirming they have the right tools to do their jobs, a 35% increase in the reach of corporate messages, and substantial growth in the number of customers using this housing provider’s online services. David has also completed phase 1 of an ERP implementation on time and to budget, and the benefits case is currently ahead of schedule.

MailOnline CIO Steve Homan debuts on the CIO 100 celebration of business and technology leaders. Steve isn’t one to follow trends or make grand statements about “all in the cloud” or similar. He looks to take each need and work out its fit with the general direction of that strategic period. Last year was about starting the journey, but also doing the heavy lifting to be able to create organisational focus on future revenue lines. His replatforming of the company’s digital assets for enhanced revenue and customer experience leaves him free to focus on the fast-paced delivery of the major revenue-enhancing projects that land this year.

New to the CIO 100 is Chief Digital Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant Aaron Powell. NHSBT is a complex organisation whose primary responsibility is the recruitment and retention of blood, organ and stem cell donors, the manufacturing of blood components and other products, and the allocation of organs for transplant. Aaron has placed technology at the heart of the organisation rather than simply being its handmaiden. He not only demonstrated the substantial risks associated with a lack of investment in an aging and hard-to-maintain technology estate, but also the opportunities that could be realised by placing technology centre-stage. He secured more ICT staff and a £30m budget for a technology transformation programme, and got that programme at the top of the priority list for the entire organisation.

Fitness First CIO Ed Hutt makes his debut in the 2016 CIO 100. Under Ed’s guidance the scale of cultural change at Fitness First has been enormous. When he began his digital transformation, staff would wander in when it suited them, beach shorts and flip-flops were the norm, and working practices were lax. Twelve months later, there is a whole new level of professionalism. His leadership, strategy, know-how and experience has transform a highly traditional organisation into one at the leading edge of digital self-service delivery within its sector. The numbers in IT have dropped by 80% over a year while the service quality, service speed and degree of proactive innovation has increased significantly. This has driven a substantive cost reduction, which has funded much of the modernisation effort.

Given that Stephen Docherty has a background in the gaming industry and entitled his masters dissertation South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust CIO Stephen Docherty is another new entrant in 2016 CIO 100. “Why Are IT Leaders Not Given More Prominence?”, it should be no surprise that he has taken IT from classic to innovative in just 15 months. It’s now more about adopting a service management culture and less about managing tin, allowing the function to add value by spending more time with staff across the whole trust to improve the way we deliver services.

Head of IT for Jamie Oliver is Patricio Colombo is the master of 10,000 recipes. That, at least, is the number he has made available, along with the all-important pictures, to the entire organisation via a major digital asset management campaign. The move has helped redefine the workflows associated with picture processing throughout the business, moving an extremely manual and siloed approach on to automated processing, tagging and delivery of images from initial shoot to channel delivery. It has lowered costs and accelerated content delivery.

Amnesty CIO John Gillespie is a new entry in the CIO 100. With user satisfaction and expectations low from many years of IT underinvestment, John undertook a wholesale upgrade of every component of the core infrastructure over a two-year period that has sent IT’s stock soaring. His centralised model has liberated IT, which is now supporting regional offices across the globe without a net increase in staff.

Ovo Energy CTO Mariano Albera has built up the technology team at the utilities company from just three engineers to a unit of 100, embedding a culture shift where Ovo is a tech company first and an energy company second, and makes his appearance in the CIO 100.

Ascential IT Director Sean Harley enters the CIO 100 at the organisation set to IPO and rumoured to worth around £800 million. Harley loves disruptive technology, especially for the business innovation and cost-savings over the established players the disruptors offer before they are gobbled up by the bigger players. Part of the executive leadership working with a tech-savvy CEO and CFO, Harley has helped deliver significant business outcomes while supporting the process which will enable the media company to IPO.

Number 76 on the CIO 100 list Paul Nicholson is the IT Director for Youngs Seafood, having previously worked as Head of Enterprise Architecture for Norther Powergrid. He has over 20 years experience of delivering innovative change and IT solutions, and is bringing that to bear in his work with Youngs. Taking high-quality fresh fish from the sea, and ensuring timely delivery to processors and retail is a huge logistical task. Paul continues to drive forward Youngs business, facilitating change and transforming process to help the business remain a market leader.

Information Systems Director at Orridge and Vennersys, Simon Kniveton makes his CIO 100 bow as the second entry in the UK’s professional services sector in the UK. An influential IT and business leader with great experience, Simon was recognised for his work as a change agent, effecting a digital transformation of his business’ strategy through a focus on data. For Simon the focus is on the customer. He spends around two days a week with customers, and expects his senior colleagues to do the same. With a seat on the board Simon sees himself as a commercial strategic leader first and foremost, and as such is an inspiration to the UK CIO community.

Raymond Brown Construction Business Systems Director Peter Wiliamso n is a CIO 100 inductee and is one of the youngest members of the CIO 100. Williamson has moved from a project manager role to the head of IT and a board director in four years, helping establish a new culture of working at the construction organisation and leading its digital transformation.

United Living CIO features because of his sterling work facilitating the merger of new companies, and enabling a geographically disperesed technical workforce to work digitally from remote locations. He has a real focus on promoting youth and listening to the workforce.

We had an unprecedented number of submissions to the 2016 CIO 100, and more than ever the ranks were swelled by impressive business and technology leaders new to the list. Honourable mentions must go to City of Liverpool College CIO Alasdair Redmond, Raymond Brown Construction IT Director Peter Williamson, Northern Powergrid Head of IT Russell Morris, Imagination CIO Simon King, Ovo Energy CTO Mariano Albera, and Ascential IT Director Sean Harley. All are honoured by being recognised as part of the CIO 100 on this strongest of all years.


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