My name is Rob Thompson and I joined the Home Office 3 weeks ago as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). I’m delighted to be here!
My job is to provide the strategic direction for engineering, technology and architecture across the Home Office.
That means 2 things:
- Doing some architectural work, making sure new systems are well designed and current systems are optimised.
- Making sure we deliver our systems and services in a modern, value-creating way that leverages our intellectual and financial capital to create better public services.
I’ve come to the Home Office from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where I led the 700 strong Engineering team and the Universal Credit Technology team.
It’s a different and large government department, but we share many of the same challenges, such as:
- improving services by making them more digital
- making data core to all our activities
- building and running well architected systems
- saving the taxpayer money
- doing it all at scale, safely and securely
People are at the heart of rising to these challenges. I’ve seen the difference that great digital professionals can make when they’re put into multidisciplinary teams.
I fell in love with the civil service at DWP. After a career spanning 23 years in the private sector, the 4 years I spent there working with such a creative, committed and talented team completely converted me to a life of public service.
So my aim is to put some structure and focus into how we develop our technology strategy, our professions and our own people, to become a world class digital business.
I’ve been encouraged by the spirit and positive outlook of our teams during my first sessions in London, Croydon and Sheffield. There’s a lot of work to do and some major challenges. But I think we’re all ready for it.
It’s a big business with a very broad portfolio, and it will take me a little time to understand what happens next.
My starting point is to learn about the Home Office. Over the next few weeks I’ll be out and about, spending time with our teams across the UK to find out more about our issues and what needs to be done.
I’ll be working with different types and sizes of projects and programmes to see where I can help. I’ll also spend time with my colleagues on the senior management team to further understand our challenges.
I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll report back in a few weeks – watch this space…