HMRC hunts for IT delivery director as data hub hits milestone

The UK’s tax authority is seeking a director to lead its IT transformation and cloud strategy at a salary of £140,000.

HMRC said the IT delivery director would be responsible for IT transformation and a cloud strategy – Photo credit: HMRC

The role, which HMRC described as being “high-profile and senior”, is the latest in a line of advertisements for senior jobs involving the cloud at the department.

HMRC is undergoing a major digital transformation as it aims to become the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world by 2020, part of which involves exiting its £10bn Aspire IT contract.

The department’s handling of the process has been subject to much scrutiny, with various bodies criticising it for trying to change too much, too quickly and had underestimating the scale of the task.

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The IT delivery programme director – a role that was also advertised back in the summer and is now open until 6 November – will lead on the transformation of HMRC’s complex IT infrastructure.

This includes managing HMRC’s £90m-a-year virtualisation programme, pushing for cost savings across its IT portfolio and acting as a champion for transformation across the department.

HMRC is also trying to reduce its dependence on data centres, and the job advert said that the new recruit would define and lead the implementation of a cloud-based strategy that will cut costs and improve service performance.

This will see the IT director working with HMRC’s new cloud delivery group, which the department has twice tried to recruit for in the past year. Most recently, in July, it advertised for a deputy IT director for cloud services with a £100,000 salary, which came nine months after a failed drive to appoint a more senior cloud transformation role at £160,000.

Meanwhile, there are changes at the top of the organisation’s digital team after the chief digital information officer Mark Dearnley left HMRC to return to the private sector last month.

Mike Potter, HMRC’s director of digital transformation, is filling the CDIO role on an interim basis and HMRC would not offer PublicTechnology any further information on whether or when there would be a recruitment process for the role.

In a foreword to the IT delivery director job specification, Potter emphasised the major changes in digital that HMRC is undergoing.

He noted that the department had delivered 18 services itself last year, and said it was “leading a technology revolution across government” in a number of areas.

These include virtually managing customer contact and robotic automation – the department recently announced it has more than 30 different automation projects in the pipeline – and on big data.

HMRC is bringing all of its data, which Potter said amounted to 1 to 5 petabytes, in many formats, into a single Enterprise Data Hub, which has just passed a major milestone in its work.

Setting out the news, current director of IT delivery Nigel Green said in  a blogpost that it was now able to securely upload customer data from anywhere within the department.

“This may not sound like much, but because of the complexity of how our data was stored before and our determination to develop a secure approach, it’s a massive step forward,” he wrote.

Green said this meant the team could now begin migrating data and services so the hub could be used for transformation projects and carrying out better data analysis.

It also takes HMRC a step closer to decommissioning data warehouse, which would bring with it significant savings, he said. 


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