Job Title : Metropolitan Police Service

Organization : Director of Information Services

Ailsa Beaton’s career path to becoming IT chief at the Metropolitan Police Service hasn’t followed the typical IT route.

A chemistry graduate, Beaton switched careers twice – into accountancy first and then to IT. She learned her craft at GE, specialising in the oil industry, but went over to consultancy at PA where she spent 11 years, focusing primarily in public sector and health projects.

After her first CIO position at ICL, she joined the Met three years later, where she sits on the management board and reports to the Commissioner. Outsourcing is a mainstay of the Met’s IT strategy, with a budget of £300m per year.

One of Beaton’s biggest successes has been around separating out emergency and non-emergency call handling – the C3i project completed in autumn last year.

Away from work, she is heavily involved in developing professionalism benchmarks within the British Computer Society and is renovating a house in France, deep in the Pyrenees.

Beaton is also a volunteer police officer and occasionally can be seen patrolling the streets of Brixton, south London.