Ministry of Defence seeking IT leaders for six-figure salaries in IT overhaul

The Ministry of Defence is recruiting IT leaders as part of an overhaul of the way the armed forces manage their IT systems

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is recruiting for senior IT leadership roles with six-figure salaries, as part of an overhaul of the way the armed forces manage their IT systems.

Headhunters are looking for candidates for two jobs – director of service development and director of service design. Both positions are being advertised at a salary of £130,000, and report to MoD CIO Mike Stone.

The jobs sit within the MoD’s Information Systems and Services (ISS) organisation, which since April 2014 has been part of Joint Forces Command (JFC), the defence authority for what is known as C4ISR – an acronym for the armed forces command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

ISS employs more than 2,500 people, has a budget of more than £1.5bn a year and runs projects worth more than £10bn.

According to a briefing document sent to potential candidates for the jobs – seen by Computer Weekly – “ISS looks across the whole information continuum, from the business to the battle-space, and defines information strategy, policy and architecture for the whole of defence, considering how to meet our future requirements for information systems (both military and corporate) and then managing the delivery of projects and the supply chain.”

IT leader responsibilities

The director of service development will “set the overarching vision and strategy for an efficient and effective programme and project portfolio across ISS”, according to the job description.

“The post holder will be responsible for the effective delivery of all projects and programmes in the ISS portfolio to defined performance levels, ensuring an effective transition to live service. The post holder will also enable transformation to a new target operating model and embed a continuous improvement culture,” it said.

The director of service design will “define a coherent enterprise, business and technical architecture for defence and articulate this through strategy, policies and procedures”. 

Primary responsibilities of the job include developing a coherent architectural framework across the defence enterprise and ensuring technical and policy compliance; ensuring that the ICT strategy and supporting architecture reflects the needs of the business now and in the future; and leading the department through any resulting change.

Both positions report to Mike Stone, who took over as MoD CIO in May. Stone’s appointment attracted criticism because he remains an employee of Serco, which is one of the MoD’s main outsourcing partners. He is seconded to the MoD, but the department insisted the arrangement is not a conflict of interest.

Transforming MoD IT

The MoD launched a defence ICT strategy in November 2013, aiming to keep in line with the government digital strategy.

Writing in a government blog in August, Stone said the MoD needs to “dramatically improve” its IT systems, which are run by the HP-led Atlas consortium under a £7bn outsourcing programme called Defence Information Infrastructure (DII). The 10-year deal started in 2005 and is due to expire by 2016.

“On 31 July, I published a plan describing the initial steps in an ambitious two-year transformation programme which will deliver the modern, open and flexible IT we need to support defence activity,” said Stone.

“My vision for 2016 [is one] in which users will have information capabilities that are tailored to their mission, location and role, accessed at the right time, through a choice of devices over a cost-effective, modern and adaptable infrastructure… There’s a lot to do, and this is not an overnight fix, but we are on the right path.”

Under DII, Atlas has recently started to roll out server virtualisation across its three datacentres, as well as upgrading as many as 125,000 computers to Windows 7 from XP.

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