Panel Profile: Guide Dogs CIO Gerard McGovern

We get face-to-face with one of the IT Pro Panellists

We get face-to-face with one of the IT Pro Panellists

Welcome to the IT Pro Panel Profile, where we talk to the CIOs, experts and IT leaders that make up the IT Pro Panel, and discover their top tech, pet peeves and IT inspirations.

Technology can do many wonderful things for us; it's made us more productive, more flexible and more efficient, but it can also be used for tremendous good. That's the goal of Gerard McGovern, CIO of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, who has been using data science to help train and allocate guide dogs for blind and partially sighted people. 

With a broad remit covering leadership, strategy, security and data, he has been working to ensure that the charity is using technology as effectively as possible to work towards its mission, helping people to adapt to their conditions.

Gerard McGovern

CIO - The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Describe your role in 20 words or fewer. 

I connect people with data, turning it into information and knowledge, to help my organisation meet and exceed its strategic goals.

What was your first computer? 

My first computer was a Nintendo Entertainment System - which means I'm pretty good at Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt!

What do you like most about working in IT? 

IT is everywhere. There is not an industry, sector or process that somehow hasn't been impacted by digital technology, and it is a privilege, a challenge, and a lot of fun, to be part of that.

If you could magically get rid of one piece of technology forever, what would it be, and why? 

I'd ban emojis. They mark the point in history where language regressed!

What future tech innovations are you most excited about? 

The first company to crack a great interface for your TV. We've worked out how to use phones, tablets and computers but the interfaces for TVs are stuck in the 2000s. Apple is close but there's still a long way to go.

Who's your biggest inspiration in the world of tech? 

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web. Without Sir Tim, this website would not exist and nor would the entire digital ecosystem that powers our world. To have the foresight to create a technology for easily sharing information, and to make that technology available for free, is one of humanity's greatest ever gifts.

If you're a senior IT decision-maker and you'd like to apply to be part of the IT Pro Panel, please email panel@itpro.co.uk.

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