by Edward Qualtrough

BT makes Smart Cities push with CIO hire

Feb 03, 20152 mins
GovernmentIT StrategyNetworking Devices

BT Global Services has appointed Tom Baker as its Business Development Director of Smart and Healthier Cities, following the former Norfolk County Council CIO’s departure from local government last month.

Baker was in the 2014 edition of the CIO 100, recognised for spearheading the county’s pioneering Digital Norfolk Ambition (DNA) programme, which Baker told this title was a strategic partnership with HP which will involve “the redesign of public services”.

Based in Leeds, Baker describes his new role at BT as “working with cities, regions and public service providers to shape the communications, collaboration and technology solutions, to support the challenge of integration, smarter service delivery and the development of better connected, more intelligent cities”.

BT has been making a push into Internet of Things and Smart Cities over the last few years. Global CIO of BT, Clive Selley, told CIO UK in December 2013 that IoT development was a major focus at the organisation’s R&D centre at Adastral Park in Suffolk, and in September last year called on the government to espouse and publicise the benefits IoT and smart cities will have in creating sustainable environments.

Geographically the combination of BT’s push into ‘Smart and Healthier Cities’ with its new CIO hire is also interesting – Leeds City Council CIO Dylan Roberts has spoken about how smart cities are one of the answers to enabling the public sector to do more for less in times of austerity, and has championed the successful health sector projects underway in West Yorkshire such as the Leeds Innovation Health Hub, with its remit to deliver new healthcare solutions.

Last year Baker spoke to a number of local government CIOs and business leaders about Smart Norfolk, and also the use of data analytics to drive better social care

Norfolk is now looking for a new permanent CIO to lead the council’s DNA project, with the role described as “one of the most exciting ICT roles in local government” by Norfolk County Council director of resources Anne Gibson.

Last week, Amey recruited a Group IT Director for Smart Data and Technology, reporting to CIO Darryl Salmons, to use cloud computing, social media and machine-to-machine computing to increase and sustainability for the UK engineering firm and its clients.