CIO50

CIO 50 2009: Catherine Doran

CIO 50

Job Title : 1

Organization : Director of Corporate Development

Since becoming director of corporate development in October 2008, Catherine Doran has taken charge of a programme to transform the way Network Rail operates, which will support a £35bn revamp and expansion of the UK's rail network.

Doran is a member of Network Rail's Executive Committee, the body charged with devising and delivering the strategy for the company, and has responsibility for the Network Rail business transformation programme. She has overall responsibility for all aspects of delivering Network Rail's IT systems, both from an applications and infrastructure perspective.

Tech will play a major role in the group transformation programme led by Doran - with plans for a new integrated traffic management platform, which will bring together information management and signaling control systems, and improvements to how data is collected on key assets, such as track signals and switches.

Last year Doran told silicon.com that one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the legacy of British Rail's monolithic 1960s IT infrastructure. The process of cataloguing and unpicking what Doran calls a "bunch of spaghetti" has begun but is expected to take years to complete.

She said at the time: "What we have now is really a very complicated technology infrastructure, which sits at the heart of the railway industry. It's entirely reliable, highly performing but you'd expect it to be [newer] - it's nearly 50 years old."

Doran will look after an estimated £1bn IT overhaul under the business transformation programme, which will see upgrades to hardware, software and networks in corporate IT systems. It will include improvements to the accuracy, accessibility and quality of journey information for passengers, the renewal of out-of-date CCTV systems on routes into London, a new digital system to improve comms between train drivers and signallers, upgrades to datacentres, the overhaul of Oracle systems used for HR and finance and the installation of green tech such as movement-sensor controlled lighting.

As well as delivering infrastructure and applications that support Network Rail's mission-critical engineering and rail operations, Doran leads the group looking after its National Records. This is where technical specifications and archives for the UK's railways are held, essential to the company's ability to repair and improve the network.

Doran joined Network Rail as director of information management in 2006, moving from BT, where she was director of transformation and technology.

Prior to BT Doran was European CIO at Capital One and head of retail information systems at NatWest.

A married mum of three, her career in technology followed her graduation from university in Ireland where she studied maths and geography.

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