Job Title : CIO
Organization : UK government
What they say about him: “Has come into government to help deliver massive change, in cultures that think about more than money. Personal credo is ‘a promise is a promise’ and expects the same from those he deals with.”
As CIO for the UK government John Suffolk is primarily responsible for leading the IT strategy behind the ‘Transformational Government’ agenda along with his fellow public-sector IT chiefs on the CIO Council.
He is also tasked with driving the use of shared services in line with the efficiency agenda and building the government’s in-house capability to deliver big projects by creating a genuine IT profession and career ladder in the public sector. In short, Suffok is the public face of UK government IT.
Suffolk’s route to the top job in government IT is via 25 years in both the public and private sectors, including roles as a business troubleshooter and MD of Britannia. Prior to his current role Suffolk was director-general of the government’s £2bn Criminal Justice IT programme. The thread connecting all those roles is major transformation programmes.
Suffolk says: “I look for big and horrible stuff. I’m not into steady state. I get bored with steady state.”
At the weekends Suffolk escapes back to the Peak District where he runs a farm protecting rare breeds of sheep and pigs. In true Animal Farm style some of the pigs are named after chief executives and royalty.