Socitm president Geoff Connell appointed Norfolk head of information technology and management

Norfolk County Council has appointed the recently-installed Socitm president Geoff Connell as head of information technology and management.

Connell will take up the new role in August, moving on from his current position as director of ICT at oneSource, a shared ICT service created by the London boroughs of Newham and Havering.

He will take control of projects including Digital Norfolk Ambition (DNA), a partnership launched in 2013 with Hewlett Packard to provide ICT equipment and services.

Norfolk’s executive director of resources, Anne Gibson, said: “He has a strong record of achievement, with experience of the creation and delivery of new IT service delivery and shared service models and of IT delivery and IT transformation.”

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Connell, she said, had recently helped Norfolk to introduce a new customer relationship management system based on his experience at oneSource.

The council has recently launched a new Yotta highways system and is currently seeking a supplier for a new social care system.

In January, the council awarded a £20m framework agreement to enhance network services in council buildings, schools and libraries.

The DNA scheme is aimed at refreshing the corporate desktop, providing a new data centre hosting environment plus adding collaboration tools.

In the job advert for the role, the council said that the desktop migration was 90% complete and work on the design of the data centre was progressing.

Last year, a report to Norfolk councillors said that the DNA project budget had risen from £26.35m to £27.6m, but identified additional savings to reduce the gap to £0.75m.

The advert for the job said that the new appointee could be paid up to £115,000 a year.

The council is also putting in place a replacement voice and data network contract, while its payroll system is due to expire in 2018, with a finance and human resources system contract set to run out two years later.

Last month, Connell, who ranked number 32 in CIO Magazine’s 2014 ‘top 100’ chief information officers, took over as Socitm president from Nadira Hussein, who is One Oracle programme manager at oneSource. 

On this appointment, Connell said that IT leaders should position themselves as ‘enablers, innovators and shapers of business change’.

A failure to do so, he said, would be to be pigeon-holed as the ‘tin and wires’ geek – and risk moving down the value chain as day to day ICT service management becomes ever more commoditised.

Colin Marrs

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