Flintshire County Council in north-east Wales has a population of 150,000. The council has around 8,500 employees including teaching staff. A large proportion of Flintshire’s industry comes from car manufacturing and aviation, as Toyota and Airbus have plants based in the county. Flintshire also generates a large amount of revenue from established and start up online companies, the most well-known being Money supermarket.com. Chris Guest is the head of IT for Flintshire county council and was one of the founders of SOCTIM Cymru. He has helped introduce a ‘paperless council’. Guest has devised a four-year IT strategy for the council part of the plan is to provide a reliable IT infrastructure to be used over all of the council’s services and a Wide Area Network which is to be used across 150 schools and libraries. IT leader:Chris Guest, Assistant Chief Executive – Flintshire Futures (the organisation’s transformation programme) and Head of ICT & Customer Services. In role since:16 Years in total, initially just head of IT. About five years ago I was given the role of Head of ICT & Customer Services and latterly my Assistant Chief Executive role. Reporting line:CEO. How often does the CIO meet with the CEO:At least twice a week. Board level seat:A seat on the Corporate Management team, a team of the eight most senior leaders in the organisation. IT budget:£7 million. IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Approximately 3,000 accounts about 50% of total workforce, but also 1500 teachers have accounts so this takes the percentage up to 75%. The remaining 25% are in the main care workers, maintenance staff and refuse collectors. IT staff currently employed:80. Split between in-house/outsourced staff:Approximately 80:20. IT management team and reporting structure:Six direct reports; ICT Operations Manager. Network and Support Services Manager. Information Services Manager. Customer Services Manager. Head of Strategic Procurement (organisation wide). Flintshire Futures Programme Manager (transformation programme). Primary technology platforms at the organisation: The organisation is using integrated best of breed point solutions for Finance, HR and Asset Management. The huge diversity of services provided means that there is a need for many specialist systems. Primary technology suppliers: IBM, Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft, Citrix, Logicalis. Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Major Unified Communications implementation with Avaya LAN Technology refresh with Logicalis Unified Threat Management with FortiNet Collaborative deal across North Wales on supply of desktop, laptop and mobile devices with Computacentre – I was project sponsor for this project for the six North Wales Councils Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: Approximately 10%. Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation:e-Procurement – estimated £3 million savings, 3% of infuencible spend in 2013/14, full automation of procurement including P2P, e-Sourcing, e-Auctions, Contract Management. Unified Communications implementation providing IPT, instant messaging, unified messaging and presence awareness, enabling agile working and contributing to our target of 50% reduction in office accommodation by 2015 and saving of £2 million per annum. Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to:Our Transformation Programme Flintshire Futures is about maximising savings from changing the way we do things rather than having to make difficult political choices about doing things less or not at all in terms of direct service delivery. It’s also about improving things for our customers and communities and providing better services. The programme has four quadrants. Quadrant 1 is focused on Cross Organisational Change with five work streams Procurement, Customer, Workforce, Finance and Assets. All of which are dependent on ICT as a primary transformational enabler. Quadrant 2 is around service change where we are challenging ways of working, applying systems thinking approaches and radically restructuring with a set of modern organisational design principles, again with ICT as a key enabler. Quadrant 3 is around collaboration with the wider public sector both regionally and nationally, again ICT is a key enabler for service collaboration, but we also have a an ICT collaboration programme looking at how we can reduce ICT costs and improve services collectively. Quadrant 4 is around collaborating with our local partners such as police, health and the third sector in joining up to improve customer experience and access. Flintshire Connects for instance is a project that is establishing a network of shared community facilities which will offer modern ICT enabled services to be delivered in a joined up way across diverse organisations. My role of Assistant Chief Executive with lead responsibility for the Transformation Programme an business change across the organisation. Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: For the organisation to continue to recognise information as a strategic resource and ICT as a primary enabler of transformation, by ensuring ICT delivers tangible benefits. In times of severe spending cutbacks here in Flintshire we have continued to see increased investment in ICT, this world not have happened without me personally having a place on the senior leadership team which many CIOs do not get particularly in the public sector. Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: We are seeing increased demand for BYOD from staff and councillors and it’s something the organisation is keen to extend. To date we have been piloting use of iPads and Android devices but it is anticipated this will increase significantly. We actively promote the use of social networking we have a Corporate Management team blog and an ICT blog on our intranet. We have a presence on Twitter and Facebook, and use them for citizen consultation and engagement. Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Having a seat on Corporate Management team helps enormously. We have recently introduced paperless meetings with all CMT members having iPads, this is shortly to be extended to all councillors. Managing the demand and expectations are bigger challenges than actually persuading people that this is the future. Information security remains a challenge but we have to find business solutions that give sufficiency in terms of security rather than it becoming a barrier. Technologies being considered to enable transformation:Extending the use of cloud services, VDI, UC, self service – workforce and customer, enhanced on-line services and integration tools. Transformational inspiration sources:I have been chair of the Socitm Insight steering group for many years, I am a Director of Socitm and Socitm past-president, I am also a member of the Welsh Public Sector CIO Council and regional lead for North Wales. Involvement in these professional groups provide me with excellent networking opportunities both with public sector peers and the private sector, and it is in the main from these networks and peer contact that I get my transformational inspiration. I am passionate about ICT as an enabler of transformation, improved customer experience and improved services, to me the technology is secondary I always think first about the customer or the business and the benefits the technology can actually help deliver.