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Welcoming Iain Patterson back to GDS

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I’m pleased to announce that Iain Patterson will be returning to GDS in the new year as Director of Common Technology Services (CTS).

Iain was seconded to DVLA in 2013 where he was Chief Technology Officer - leading their digital transformation.

In this video Iain explains more about his work at DVLA:

In his new role at GDS Iain will be responsible for enabling the provision of consistent, high quality workplace IT for civil servants across government. This will deliver benefits through better, more secure IT, more joined-up working across government, and the ability to implement changes faster and at lower cost.

I’d like to thank Andy Beale for not just starting this project, but for taking it back on over the summer, listening to customers, building strong relationships and driving it towards the successful spending review result. Andy, as Deputy CTO, remains on the CTS board.

All of us (myself and GDS Executive Director Stephen Foreshew-Cain included) are delighted to see Iain back in GDS. As our leadership team grows, it’s great to have people with as much expertise and experience as Iain helping us transform government.

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Driving transformation

Iain Patterson, Chief Technology Officer:

When I arrived at DVLA, it was the same standard model as most organisations where it was outsourced to a large SI. This gave us issues around how much we could do in what periods of time because of commercial constraints and obviously those had been signed some ten or twelve years ago.

I think the intention is that we can be rapid in our delivery, agile, and we can move quickly with the business.

To do that we had to look at the ... obviously the commercial landscaping and change that. We had to look at our own IT skills and we had to look at the organisation operating model. Those were key to making sure we can actually be a flexible organisation, digital organisation in the future. We’ve started working closely with the universities, trying to create and understand the capabilities that we do need for the future and the ability to train people locally. That means that we should be growing our people, developing our people and creating the capability the business needs for the future.

Dave Walsh, Head of IT Commercial:

Currently we are in quite an exciting time for IT in government. As we all know, we’re getting direction from GDS at the centre and also the Crown Commercial Services with their digital marketplace frameworks. I think the clear direction is to allow for disaggregation of the supply base and to allow smaller suppliers to offer competition and innovation and to bring those things into our marketplace and into our day-to-day work.

Tim Daley, Head of Customer Solutions Delivery:

So we’ve changed our supply chain in terms of what we use. We used to use one big supplier for all of our work as through a managed service, but what we use today is a number of SMEs, small, medium and large enterprises, to provide us with a much greater set of innovation, a lot more collaboration from them and we get a range of ideas and delivery options out of that.

Mark Evans, Chief Architect:

The Digital Marketplace allows DVLA to look at options as we move forward, especially in the commoditisation aspects of IT and we’ll facilitate a mix of in-house and outsourced elements to provide the technical landscape in which we work.

Dave Walsh:

We’ve introduced service managers in the business organisation that have also lined up to the governance that we have for projects and programmes. So this has allowed us to make sure that we’ve got a seamless business ownership of the deliverables we have. There used to be a separation between IT and the business. Now we’re much closer aligned and that we can get what the customers and the users really want out of our IT services and build-in the insight all the way through to the implementation into service.

Mark Evans:

All we need to do is to reduce the amount that we spend on steady state IT, giving us that headroom, giving us that freedom to support the wider ongoing digitalisation of the business. So finance have been heavily involved in working with some folks in the IT directorate in making sure that we understand what’s historically been the packed IBM costs. So we’ve gone from being in a kind of assurance role to much more hands-on, getting our hands dirty and owning the IT estate. That’s everything from how it runs, the cost and how we want to change it going forward.

Dave Walsh:

We’ve become much more agile as an organisation. We’ve adopted processes such as Scrum and API programming across all of our deliveries. We’ve become much a more transparent organisation as a result. It’s not just our projects and our IT world that is now agile. All of our business is agile and that’s taken a lot of effort for us to change the way we do things round here.

Iain Patterson:

I think if you have strong communications you should gain good support. It’s about engaging people to the right engagement model, but you do need to make sure you are open. You’re transparent in what you are trying to do, trying to achieve, and make sure people have the opportunity to contribute in that. So it’s an open session whereby people can contribute to how change can actually happen. So it is important that your colleagues are informed, engaged and, above all, involved in that change process. I think we will always be a multi-channel organisation. Over 30% of the mail coming into Wales was for DVLA. That’s fundamentally changing. Recently we’ve gone from 50% online to over 80% now online activity. It’s a trend that’s changed in the way we work but I think we’ll always be multi-channel with a focus on digital.

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