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Digital, data and tech the focus of Home Office as two IT teams become one


Picture by Matt Gore iconphotomedia CIO Summit 2015
Sarah Wilkinson addressing CIOs at an event produced by the author: Picture by Matt Gore iconphotomedia

The Home Office is merging its digital and technology units into a single operation to be led by CTO Sarah Wilkinson. The new function will be called Home Office Digital, Data and Technology.

“Our objectives remain the same, to deliver transformational change for the department and build exceptional services for everyone,”

Home Office CTO Sarah Wilkinson said.

Home Office Digital and Home Office Technology were originally formed to enable the digital programme to get up to speed and avoid being bogged down in the delivery of business as usual technology operations. In an email to Home Office staff CTO Sarah Wilkinson said: “We have overseen a massive growth in digital capability and skills, and are recognised as experts in Service Design, User Research, DevOps and more. Home Office Digital have delivered digital interviewing, the department’s first services built on data analytics, and a multitude of digital services for citizens and civil servants including the Home Office’s three exemplar services: Registered Traveller, Visas and Adult Online Passport Renewal. We’ve also demonstrated the potential of hubs outside London with the successful establishment of our Sheffield delivery centre.

Reflecting the merger of the two halves of technology service within the Home Office Wilkinson has a new job title, Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer.

While the digital operation focused on delivering new operating methods to the Home Office such as user research and digital interviewing the technology operation has been modernising the core technology used by Home Office.

“We have delivered the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SISII) and Immigration Health Surcharge systems, rolled out Biometric Residence Permits and Biometric Travel Documents, deployed new third generation e-gates across the estate, created a national wide area network (WAN)  replacement across over 200 Home Office locations, and started the deployment of new laptop and tablet devices alongside the set-up of a new walk up ‘Tech Bar’,” Wilkinson said.

“Together, we have laid the groundwork for significant transformation across the Department. The two organisations were initially set up as separate entities in line with the approach being taken across Government and encouraged by the Government Digital Service. It also served to recognise that the skills and capabilities across Home Office Digital were new to the Home Office and would benefit from having space to develop into a series of highly professional teams,” Wilkinson said.

“This is a great opportunity to create a stronger, more capable team, which is better placed to respond to the needs of the businesses we service.  It will bring an injection of new skills and approaches to all areas of our work, will allow a front to back digital design approach, and enable us to integrate data more fully into everything we do,” Wilkinson said of the change.

Widgets Magazine
About Mark Chillingworth 228 Articles
Mark Chillingworth has over 20 years of journalism and editing experience across all media platforms including online, live events, print magazines and television.
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