Q&A: Simon Haston

Aberdeen City Council’s head of ICT tells us what makes him tick and gives his digital predictions for 2016.

Twitter name

Simon Haston (@sihaston)

Job Title/Organisation

Head of IT & transformation, Aberdeen City Council

What does your role involve?

My responsibility is to deliver transformation both within the council and for the place of Aberdeen. I am fortunate that my role also includes all things digital, whether enabling our staff, customers, partners or suppliers, as I see transformation and digital as one thing. I am lucky that my organisation also sees it that way.  

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

Meeting the changing needs of our customers and staff. At the same time we need to have the right technological, skill and cultural foundations. So being fast but also slow… if that makes sense.

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you’ve undertaken?

Building a great team of people who want to do good things.

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

We should think long term, so the obvious place to go would be schools. As public organisations we have a great opportunity to connect with those that need digital skills. This includes our own staff.

Which new technology excites you the most?

Got to be robots (or more accurately automation) and driverless cars. Massive opportunities.

What’s your favourite app and why?

My family live in Edinburgh and I work in Aberdeen. So I love any free communication tool: Voxer, WhatsApp, and Viber.  

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

I think for us it will all be about data: open, closed, shared, private, big or small. I think it will be the year that we stop treating digital as something different to our business.    

For 100 days, PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood Connect is running through itsTech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Colin Marrs

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