Q&A: Alan Shields, Cambridgeshire County Council

We speak to the IT strategy and architecture team manager - and Leader Board panelist - about effectively supporting his business.

Describe your role in three words. 

Strategy, architecture, passion

Who is your tech hero? And why?

Alan Turing. Without his genius we could have lost the Second World War, and  I might not have had a career in IT.

I feel IT is getting for too complex without any real added benefit to for users. I know that probably keeps me and my colleagues in jobs, but I find it all rather frustrating.

What does your current role involve?

I am responsible for creating the council's technical solution architecture aligned to IT best practices and frameworks. My primary aim is to ensure deployment of IT systems that are fit for purpose; support business needs; are future proof; are cost efficient; flexible and sustainable. (Extract from my Job Description)

How did you arrive at your current role?

I would like to say sheer hard work and professionalism, but mainly luck and being in the right place at the right time.

Did you always want to work in IT? 

No, I am a trained Quantity Survey and spent my first year of employment working for private practices in London.

What do you enjoy most about your role/working in IT?

As I work for local government, it's not the pay! I suppose it is the opportunity to try and make things easier for people. Although we don't always get it right. 

And what is your least favourite aspect about your role/working in IT?

I feel IT (in general) is getting for too complex without any real added benefit to for users. I know that probably keeps me and my colleagues in jobs, but I find it all rather frustrating. 

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