How IT departments didn't flake in the snow

CIO Jury: Remote working weathers the storm

Last week's snow storms brought parts of the country to a standstill - but the latest CIO Jury reveals most IT departments were prepared for the event.

When asked whether the week's bad weather affected their ability to provide IT services to their organisations, the answer was 'No' on a vote of 11 to one.

Many companies had remote-working systems in place that were powerful enough to allow the IT team to support the business even if they were unable to get into the office. And at least one CIO who responded to the question said the problem was treated as a disaster-recovery exercise and allowed processes to be tweaked and improved based on how they coped with being snowed in.

Chris Martin, CTO, Cheapflights said: "The wonders of remote infrastructure connectivity, remote working capability (online and offline), Instant Messenger and video/voice conferencing allow the IT services team to continue to provide support to all users. The remote working might actually have increased productivity across the organisation - sometimes there is nothing like focused time!"

Peter Russell, Head of IT, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust told he wasn't affected, but that was because of the diligence of his staff, rather than the wonders of remote-working technologies.

He said: "My staff were absolutely wonderful. They struggled in through appalling weather to ensure that we were able to keep all systems running to meet patient needs, train staff and generally keep business as normal. A public well done!"

Today's CIO Jury:

  • Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
  • Peter Birley, director of IT, Browne Jacobson
  • Chris Broad, head of information systems and technology, UKAEA
  • Steve Clarke, AOL broadband systems and operations director, The TalkTalk Group
  • Kevin Fitzpatrick, CIO Northern Europe, Sodexo
  • Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
  • Chris Martin, CTO, Cheapflights
  • Jacques René, CIO, Ascend
  • Jeff Roberts, director of information technology, Norton Rose
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • Peter Russell, head of IT, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Steve Williams, director of information systems and services, Newcastle University

Want to be part of's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at