BT appoints first chief information officer for Scotland

HastonBT has appointed a chief information officer for Scotland to work with its corporate and public sector customers. Simon Haston joins the company from Aberdeen City Council, where he was head of IT and transformation.

Haston will liaise directly with the CIOs of BT’s customers, “helping to create a long-term shared plan for how technology and innovation can enable their strategy and objectives and improve their operations,” the company said in a statement.

He will also be the ‘voice of the customer’ within BT, it added, working with its business development, commercial, and technology teams to “make sure BT’s propositions and solutions meet customers’ current and future digital needs”.

It follows the appointment last year of David Wallace as director of BT’s public service business in Scotland and, the company said, a shift to a more devolved approach to the Scottish market that has also seen investment in seven new sales account managers in recent weeks.

“This new role provides an opportunity to use BT’s immense capabilities, experience and skills to drive transformation throughout the Scottish public sector,” said Haston.

“To me it’s very much about getting a deep insight into what the Scottish public sector needs to meet its considerable challenges and then shaping how BT can help organisations on this exciting journey.”

David Wallace added: “Over the last 12 months we’ve been transforming our structure and building a new team with the expertise to meet the changing needs of our corporate and public sector customers in Scotland.

“Bringing an industry heavyweight like Simon into our business is a feather in our cap. He knows the market inside-out, and in particular the political, economic and technological challenges faced by our colleagues in the public sector.

“He brings an incisive, visionary and creative approach to how we can help the public sector deal with digital change and use technology most effectively.”

The statement said that Haston will report to BT’s business and public sector CIO for the UK and Ireland, Phil Brunkard, but will work closely with Wallace and his expanded team to “develop a shared technology vision in conjunction with customers”.

A graduate of the University of London, Haston has more than 15 years’ experience in change and transformation programmes, particularly in digital and IT solutions. Previous roles with Scotland Excel, The Improvement Service and the City of Edinburgh Council saw him lead “complex, multi-agency digital change programmes across the public sector”.