by Andrew Newton

The CIO Questionnaire: Andrew Newton, IT Director of Keepmoat

Feb 24, 2010
CareersConstruction and Engineering IndustryIT Strategy

Q: Where were you born? A: Blackpool, Lancashire

Q: How many people work in your IT department? A: 19 staff (including self)

Q: What is the size of your annual IT budget? A: Approx. £2.2m

Q: What percentage of annual turnover does IT represent? A: About 0.3 per cent

Q: What is the basic structure of your IT department? A: Devolved within business units

Q: Who are your key suppliers? A:Star, HP, ISC, Uniworld, Orange, COINS.

Q: Who has/have been the most influential people in your career? A: No specific people have influential, although my family have always played an important part in ensuring a healthy work-life balance.

Q: Do you believe in mentoring? A: I believe that mentoring is important at all levels of the organisation – it helps set expectations and allows individuals to learn from the experiences of others

Q: Which tools or tactics have given you most success in communicating up/down/across? A: Communication across organisation boundaries within a large group can be challenging. It’s necessary to use a wide range of approaches: audio/video conferencing is very powerful to coordinate dispersed groups; face-to-face meetings have their place, of course, as do collaboration tools such as SharePoint.

Q: What is your greatest success? A: Probably integrating Keepmoat’s four legacy networks into a single group-wide network without any major disruption to the organisation.

Q: How do you keep up to date with the march of technology? A: A mix of seminars, web-casts, vendor briefings and printed/online media

Q: How do you deal with stress? A: Time with the family, play the piano and getting away from it all in the Lake District.

Q: What profession would you most/least like to attempt? A: I still have a childhood yearning to be an astronaut – no chance in reality! I would least like to be involved in the medical profession – too squeamish to be a brain surgeon or work in an emergency team!

Q: Do you have a sport you practice or sportsperson/team that you follow? A: No more competitive sport – try to keep active with fell-walking, cycling

Q: What else do you do outside of work? A: Help wife with small family business letting holiday apartments in the Lake District – an enjoyable break from the world of technology. Recently tried skiing again after an 18 year break: good to find that I could still remember how to turn!

Q: Briefly describe you career in IT leadership A: Time with Keepmoat – 6 years Time in IT – 22 years

Other interesting details:

Educated at Oxford (MA) and Sheffield Universities (MBA); Chartered Engineer; Member of Institute of Engineering & Technology. Numerous vocational/technical courses.