Head of IT in Abingdon at Haines Watts

Date Posted: 8/31/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Job Title: Head of IT

Reporting to: Haines Watts Group Board

Effective Information Technology is fundamental to the success of Haines Watts's business model. It is key to ensuring Haines Watts has a competitive edge -- with a highly productive, flexible & motivated workforce and maximised benefits of scale. This is a newly created role that will provide leadership, direction and a drive for change at Haines Watts in all areas relating to Information Technology & Security. IT is the largest overhead recharged to Haines Watts's nationwide offices. Maximising the value of this overhead, or minimizing the cost is key.

We are a top 15 accountancy firm specialising within the owner managed business area across the UK. A well-established firm since the 1930's with an entrepreneurial and dynamic feel who are continuing to grow nationally as well as regionally.

As a brilliant Head of IT, you will be able to investigate, prepare and present outline ideas, and develop plans from theory through to implementation for a wide range of technology related projects.

You will be able to present IT/technology-related ideas at a Group-wide board level, whilst ensuring that technical approach and best practices remain in line with the goals of the business, as set annually by The Board. You will ensure that adoption and engagement challenges are at the forefront of your mind in line with the structure and governance of the business.

You will report directly to the Haines Watts Board

Role Purpose

The purpose of the Head of IT is to:

  • Ensure Haines Watts is provided with a suitably resilient, secure, productive IT platform with service wrap for the right value
  • Provide leadership, direction and communication for Haines Watts in all areas relating to Information Technology
  • To create, own & continuously evolve Haines Watts's IT Strategy: embracing all aspects of Information Technology & Security
  • Support change management across Haines Watts with systems and technology processes and improvements
  • Improve clients' value and satisfaction with Haines Watts
  • Improve staff productivity, flexibility and satisfaction with the National IT service
  • Investigating latest/emerging technologies to present ideas and opportunities to The Board for consideration, whilst ensuring consideration is given to the challenges and value aspects at all times
  • Set and maintain direction for group-wide systems, develop best-practice guidance, information and system management guidance and IT and data governance guidance, in line with The Board's requirements and goals
  • Regularly attend board meetings to discuss all aspects of the Group's IT direction, solutions and upcoming technologies of interest
  • Liaise and work with existing providers to ensure solutions are appropriate for the Group's requirements
  • Review potential new suppliers to ensure operations and solutions are fit for purpose and establish and maintain relationships with third parties/vendors
  • Manage Group IT resources and utilize where appropriate. Coordinating internal resources and third parties/vendors for execution of projects.
  • Meet deadlines when managing projects and organizing suppliers and providers accordingly to meet these requirements
  • Ensure security and information and data governance remain a focused priority
  • Assist with and develop plans to encourage take up and buy-in for any new technologies that fit the Group's IT needs
  • Prioritise and manage your own workload and managing expectations of colleagues, offices and suppliers
  • Ensuring that all projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget
  • To drive through change and successful adoption of change in all areas of IT where value and productivity can be improved
  • Ensure resource availability and allocation and use appropriate verification techniques to manage changes in project scope, schedule and costs
  • Perform regular risk-management to minimize project risks
  • Development of IT plans and budgets annually

Key Deliverables

  • Produce, deliver, obtain senior "buy-in", communicate and maintain Haines Watts's IT Strategy
  • Expose and mitigate risks caused by IT, information security & cyber security in Haines Watts
  • Champion, create business cases & sponsor change programmes to improve Haines Watts's IT
  • Agree with the Board on annual objectives in line with IT Strategy & corporate requirements
  • Deliver & maintain a Service Level Agreement, published to all staff, that provides the appropriate quality of service required by the business
  • Ensure key metrics on how IT is meeting its SLAs are published regularly, and actions taken if necessary to remedy


  • Finding ways, through technology, to help the group minimise all forms of overhead (non-rechargeable resource)
  • Minimise proliferation of unnecessarily different IT solutions to improve support & value
  • Own the IT budget (including team and procurement)
  • Get stakeholder buy-in to strategic IT purchases
  • Engage with our staff, around the country, to understand their challenges and how they dovetail with the group level challenges - resulting in identifying changes that improve value
  • Ensure staff know the service IT offers, and how effective IT is being to that service level
  • To translate technical solutions into business/commercial language that the business can understand, appreciate and value
  • Identify and implement appropriate "IT best practice" standards
  • Major IT programme initiation & sponsorship
  • Major IT bid solution overview
  • Cyber & information security operational strategy

Person Specification

Required: Education: Degree level, preferably in subjects related to Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Computing or IT

Required: Extensive & wide-ranging job experience in IT delivery - software, hardware, services

Required: Experience of risk management and security management

Required: Experience at delivering major IT change programmes

Desired: Wide ranging experience within the accountancy, legal or financial sector is also desirable - to establish role successfully

Desired: Experience as an IT receiver/buyer, commercial/operations manager to bring operational experience required to understand how IT can serve business

Desired: Attitudes and behaviors consistent with Haines Watts's espoused values

If you are keen to secure an all round senior level Head of IT role within a unique top 15 accountancy firm offering a great scope within a National role, please apply today to find out more.

We do not pay agency fees where speculative and unsolicited CVs are submitted to Haines Watts by any means. For any CVs which are submitted without instruction from the Haines Watts Recruitment team, Haines Watts reserves the right to contact and work directly with these candidates without payment of any agency fee.