Dylan Roberts is Chief Digital and Information Officer for Leeds City Council, Yorkshire. Roberts has been with the city authority since September 2003 and has held a range of business technology leadership roles including Head of ICT, CIO and CDO.
Roberts spoke with Horizon CIO Podcast contributor Helen Beckett.
1: What are your top priorities?
Dylan Roberts: Transition from old infrastructure to a new multi-tenanted hybrid cloud infrastructure solution and service that still has access to some on-premise stuff by necessity. Also, increase digital literacy across people who are most socially excluded by 10,000; increase the digital literacy of public service practitioners across the health and local authority organisations.
2: What is your organisation looking to do to boost digital transformation?
Dylan Roberts: Deliver our self-care and prevention agenda across the City through the application of digital. Continue to integrate health and care organisations across Leeds and beyond in order to provide an integrated service designed around the needs of the citizen.
3: What is your ultimate goal?
Dylan Roberts: Common health and care infrastructure service platform for use by all NHS and local government agencies, and to enable independent organisations to deliver better, more integrated public services. Provide the necessary technology and information to effect better outcomes for the people and businesses of Leeds. Roberts is working closely with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust CIO Richard Corbridge, who spoke to the Horizon CIO Podcast about integrated care records.
4: What are your Cloud plans?
Dylan Roberts: Move to a Hybrid approach for infrastructure and collaboration services. For developers to test in cloud.
5: Do you have plans to use any of the following technologies in your transformation agenda?
A: Artificial intelligence
Dylan Roberts: Not real AI but some robotic process automation
B: Data analytics & big data
Dylan Roberts: Yes
Dylan Roberts: No, keeping an eye on it.
6: Do you take a role in the overall security strategy of your organisation?
Dylan Roberts: Yes, I do take a role in the overall security strategy of our business, including the cost and pressure/skills requirement for addressing our cyber challenges. Keeping up with the cyber race is a significant challenge for us, as is educating everyone to realise that information security is everyone’s business.
7: How are you approaching cyber-security differently with regard to Digital Transformation? Is it helping you with your security issues?
Dylan Roberts: Cyber security involves people, process, policy, places (buildings) and tech. Digital literacy must include cyber literacy. Digital transformation increases the risks of cyber threat and so we are taking a risk based approach.
8: A new breed of CIO –is agile, digital and transformational. What are your plans to drive success in your organisation?
Dylan Roberts: Try to get the organisation to focus on what is critical and important, and not to transform everything.
9: Is your role becoming more business objectives / innovation focused, rather than day-to-day management of IT function?
Dylan Roberts: Yes absolutely, and has been for ages.
10: The 2018 CIO Gartner Agenda cites challenges around culture and people as the biggest barriers to success – do you agree? How are you driving a winning culture in your organisation – and is it a priority for you?
Dylan Roberts: Agreed, it is a challenge and we are struggling to address with senior managers; others are more willing.
11: What’s the one key thing to get right in the culture of an organisation when it comes to digital transformation and fostering an environment that supports innovation?
Dylan Roberts: That everyone who leads a business unit or area must be able to consider how the digital environment can impact on that in terms of opportunities and threats; this is not the job of the CDIO, although it does seem to still be at present. We should be looking to eventually make CDO/CIO redundant (10 year time frame).