The Future of Digital – People and Culture

The Future of Digital – People and Culture

The Future of Digital – People and Culture

5th Oct 2022

Our Chief Digital & Information Officer, Kate Warriner, was recently included in the CIO 100 list. Here, Kate explains how the future of digital could look.

Kate CIO 100.jpg

As a music graduate and musician, my journey to a Chief Digital and Information Officer in the NHS was unconventional but it's a career I've enjoyed immensely so far and a job which each day I'm so thankful for and honoured to do.

The future of digital undoubtedly has many component parts. My view is there are two significant stand out priorities which are people and culture. We can have the grandest digital and tech strategies and plans in the world but if we don't have up and coming talent, experienced digital professionals, great leadership, and a culture where people can thrive then we have very little hope in achieving those grand plans. 

In terms of the future, as leaders we must spot and nurture individuals with a digital talent. This is a huge opportunity with untapped skill and passion in younger generations, young people who are born with technology and have brilliant ideas for the future. Working day in day out in an organisation which provides care to children and young people, this is a very apparent opportunity and one which we must seize.  

There is also an essential need to retain our experienced digital professionals, making sure they can deliver to their very best each and every day. We need to develop capability in delivery at pace - folk who can implement change and do it well so that it sticks and delivers intended benefits. We also need to shift the dial that digital is no longer a ‘back office’ function. It is front and centre of services and driving transformation and we need brilliant people in those front of house roles. 

Tech wise, there are the things CIOs, innovators and industry are talking about. However, there will be loads of 'stuff' we don't even know about yet. Back in 1997 who would've predicted the role Google plays in everyone's lives now. Back in 2007 (with the release of the first iPhone) who would've predicted the minicomputers in everyone's pockets, hands and handbags today.

The things we don't know about yet excite me and these are the way-out innovations that may seem whacky, but one or two whacky ideas stick and in another 10-20 years they'll be our norm. 

We need to create a culture where people are encouraged to share ideas that can be tested, tried and deployed. I also believe that work should be a happy place where people can have fun, feel part of something great with vision, part of a team. They should also have a voice and access to all colleagues no matter where they are, in a hierarchy that pushes them to always improve, generate ideas and be recognised for what they do. 

So, the future of digital… It’s people and culture. Finding brilliant folk, developing them, backing them and letting them fly high and creating the space, environment and culture for them to succeed and be their very best.

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