OIC speaker interview 1: Neil Williams, Head of IT at Good Energy, on “Fringe IT” and more

In the first of a series of interviews with speakers at Ovum Industry Congress, the Ovum Live team got the thoughts of Neil Williams, Head of IT at Good Energy about the congress, the industry and his experience.

Neil WilliamsNeil Williams: At Ovum Industry Congress, I am very much looking forward to sharing ideas and opinions about organisational improvement. This is the lifeblood of my career and I am very pleased to be panellist in the discussion “Being an agent of change and transformation”

Ovum: From a learning experience viewpoint, what has been your most valuable lesson in your working career?

NW: As my experience grows, I better understand that IT is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient for economic success. Reflecting on the many transformational situations I have encountered, I recognise that people, organisation and process are far more important than technology.
I am also getting better at understanding what informs good economic choices. In the past, I may have been overly concerned about capacity utilisation and conformance to plan. These days, I find that reducing the cost of delay, managing queues and controlling in-process inventory are far more important.

Ovum: What are some of the challenges of your job? Why and how do you manage, or intend to manage these?

NW: My biggest challenges are managing insatiable demand for mainstream IT and governing Fringe IT.

I use the term Fringe IT to classify what others call “shadow”, “stealth”, “rogue”, or “blackmarket” IT. The term refers to technology used by employees without the clearance or even knowledge of the IT team. This can take a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common are cloud services, spread sheets and databases.
Mainstream IT work is often invisible to outsiders – unless, of course, something goes terribly awry. There are tickets flowing through the help desk, bids, proposals, projects, work packages, maintenance and continuous improvement.
At Good Energy, I am adopting various approaches to tackling these challenges.

The major recurring themes include:

  1. Economics
  2. Managing Queues and Batch Size
  3. Centralised vs Decentralised Control
  4. Multi-sourcing”

To discuss these topics and more with Neil, make sure you join us at Ovum Industry Congress. It takes place at the Victoria Park Plaza in London, and is free to attend for end-user IT professionals.

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