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Chief Technology Officer

About the role

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is one of the UK’s largest retail lenders. It currently has over 6.9 million customers and a loan book of £74bn.

SLC are the first Government Agency to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard. To maintain this momentum, the organisation has embarked upon a major transformation programme to further upgrade infrastructure and fully automate processes. This will ensure the future proof, digital delivery of an effective, efficient and flexible finance service to its customers.

SLC aims to become a digital, customer focussed centre of excellence. Vital to the success of this transformation will be the appointment of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), part of the senior management team reporting into the Chief Digital Officer.

The CTO will provide strong leadership and senior level advocacy for the delivery of all technology operations that support SLC’s current and future business transformation programme. This includes the design, provision and support for a secure, resilient infrastructure including:

  • An Oracle banking platform hosted on IBM infrastructure
  • Desktop provision across 3 operational centres
  • Consolidation of 3 data centres connected to 3 operations centres via an MPLS network
  • The construction of a DR capability
  • A corporate MAN/LAN network

The CTO will deliver effective day to day management of the operational departments, leading by example in adopting and promoting agile ways of working. Delivery of an IT service that meets the needs of SLC’s digital users and operational staff, while delivering value for money, will be a measure of success.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Set clear delineation and priorities, making sure that there is a strategic coherence between technology on cross-cutting issues such as user needs and security
  • Bring a deep knowledge of innovation and the technology landscape and market place to the department, and ensure it makes effective use of modern standards and solutions
  • Have experience of mixing internal and external cloud capability to ensure a resilient and future proofed infrastructure at
  • Liaise with the Cabinet Office, BIS and other departments to exchange best practice
  • Enable and deliver change, oversee change and risk management and the interaction between product development, implementation and support service
  • Manage IT’s technology-related budgets, costs , forecasts and related performance information
  • Actively participating in cross-departmental process improvements, ensuring technology is strategically designed and implemented on a user focused basis
  • Work with the CDO to develop, and then implement the Company’s infrastructure strategy, for approval by the CEO/Board
  • Provide advice and guidance to the Chief Digital Officer and Executive Team on the delivery of agreed development programmes and ICT systems
  • Ensure that ICT services are delivered cost effectively and efficiently, both ethically and in accordance with compliance required and best practice standards, and that a disaster recovery approach is in place
  • Review and maintain the ICT Strategy in conjunction with the direction of the Chief Digital Officer
  • Promote and protect the reputation of SLC and its stakeholders by ensuring that IT services are provided to a high standard

Skills and Experience:

  • Exceptional leadership and proven ability to set a strong direction and convey a persuasive future vision at all levels within an organisation
  • Significant experience of operating at senior level, shaping and developing company culture and processes
  • Experience of leading a professional team defining and delivering a programme of improvements to internal processes, structures and capability
  • Proven track record of  delivering complex development projects, with high technical specifications, within tight budgetary and timescale constraints
  • Effective communication skills with an ability to influence on strategic issues with all stakeholders
  • Ability to demonstrate both a detailed knowledge of new technologies and an ongoing familiarity with the integration and implementation of existing systems with new technologies
  • Experience of managing partner relationships under PSI or PPP
  • Experienced in use of agile project management techniques and working practices
  • Demonstrable experience of working with modern network management solutions (MPLS or similar) utility or commoditised hosting environments
  • Awareness and understanding of both Data Protection laws and regulations, plus  Business Continuity principles  BS25999
  • Graduate in an IT-related discipline with MBA an advantage
  • Evidence of continued ICT professional development

The Digital team within SLC is an extremely exciting place to be. The Chief Digital Officer sits on the Main Board, demonstrating the profile, aspirations and importance of the function. The use of leading edge technology, languages and methodologies combined with the opportunity for high levels of responsibility and autonomy make this role highly attractive in many ways.

For this role, experience of financial services is not required. SLC value both the benefit of bringing in skills and experience from other industry sectors while also considering candidates from within financial services.

The CTO will ideally be based in Glasgow but we are interested in potential candidates across the UK and can be flexible on location and individual working arrangements.