Back in November 2016 I reflected on how business technology leaders Richard Corbridge, Francesco de Marchis and James Robbins had brought communities together. In all three cases the reason to bring people together in conferences or hackathons, was driven by galvanising large groups together as part of a major change programme.
Last week Horizon was at the Digital Health Leadership Summit from Digital Health Information to record the latest Horizon podcast on the innovation challenges in healthcare management. Listening to CIOs from a number of major NHS trusts it was interesting to hear of mobile working strategies not completely satisfying their ambition. The reason being that workers like to come together, to have a hub, as one speaker expressed. Which brings to mind the challenge organisations face. New technology enables you to be closer to your customers or in the case of the public sector the community you serve. But colleagues are part of another community, that of the organisation and have a need to come together.
Once again the CIO has a role to play here. Not only is it the CIO that can introduce the technology to enable mobile working and greater connection to the community. It is also the CIO, in collaboration with peers, that can use technology to ensure that not only is the organisation able to be out and about with its customers and community, but also enable colleagues to come together and remain part of an organisation.
One business technology leader stands out from the crowd for enabling this. Autoglass, the vehicle windscreen repair specialist is now an entirely mobile business in the UK. The Belron owned business was once a feature on those scruffy out of town streets where car dealerships gather, today it has a fleet of vans serving customers on site. Head of Digital Innovation and Technology at Belron Nick Burton told me how his organisation organises meetups by regions on a regular basis. Again making use of mobile technology a group of colleagues come together.
Coming together is important, there are obvious business reasons to share information, but teams need to gossip and share other non-official information. How else would you know to avoid a certain dual carriageway?
In enabling Belron to bring a completely remote teams together the CIO is acting as a community leader. Listening to peers from across healthcare and other areas of industry in recent weeks it is clear to me that as we drive remote working – and I believe we should – we must also harness the power of mobile technology to bring our colleagues together.