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Head of Technology (19000063)

Posted: 12 Sep 2019 Closes: 11 Feb 2020
Snow Hill Birmingham Two Snowhill Birmingham B4 6WR
Variable 19000063

Head of Technology - (19000063)


About Gowling WLG

We have more than 1,400 legal professionals working around the world. Our offices span across 19 cities in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East. There's strength in our global presence – we embrace our differing cultures and work together as one team. We also understand the importance of investing in relationships that build knowledge and trust, while we provide legal advice that's tailored to our clients' world.

'Our people and distinct culture are what makes us different. We know this through client and employee feedback and this drives everything we do'' Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director.

There are great opportunities for all our people to flourish. Through training and personal development they can grow in their role. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, across legal, business support and early talent. We care about their happiness and believe in the power of teamwork. We want them to feel empowered and recognise that by supporting, respecting and embracing everyone's different contributions we achieve more.

Working flexibly, working fairly

Agile working offers people more freedom and flexibility in where, when, and how they work. As technology advances and our workforce becomes more diverse – and with clients often working to a 24/7 rhythm – having extra flexibility is key to helping us balance work and other commitments sensibly and productively.

By supporting people to choose where and when they get their work done, we help them to make a full and fair contribution to their team – while maintaining that all important work-life balance.

Main purpose of the role

The Head of Technology is responsible for leading a team of high calibre technologist addressing the firm’s technology innovation, information management, information security and architectural requirements. Success in the role depends on enabling lawyer and business stakeholder productivity, helping the firm grow, enhancing client service, and managing a broad risk portfolio. This role requires an experienced and commercially minded democratic leader with a strong grasp of technology and the competitive marketplace within which the firm operates.

The Head of Technology is the primary liaison within Business Information Systems (BIS) department for any direction of travel discussions or decisions that require a BIS deliverable and how the Technology roadmap for the firm can help the firm achieve its wider goals. It is the responsibility of the Head of Technology to develop, collate, publish and communicate the Firms technology landscape and direction of travel. The Head of Technology is the technical leader within BIS and are responsible for developing and maintaining the Technical career path of the whole team.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

· Build & lead a team of high calibre technologists

· Develop, review and publish the firm's technology direction of travel with reference to the published business plans of the legal and business services groups and in line with the overall firm strategy.

· Develop and lead the technical career path of the BIS team.

· Create and maintain the architectural view of the technology landscape and how it will evolve as a result of the direction of travel.

· Lead through an Architectural Review Board technology standards and compliance with regulations, particularly with regard to security; additionally working closely with the Information Security Officer (ISO) in the compliance team to maintain a robust IT security platform.

· Enable the firm to grow through strategic use of technology and the processes that surround it.

· Identify opportunities and risks for the firm that could be solved by technology or where technology would play a part in a business deliverable.

· Meet with clients and prospects to explain our technology offering and how it can help the firm deliver high quality legal services to our clients.

· Responsible for overseeing technology research and development (R&D) on behalf of the firm.

· Oversee the monitoring and report on technology and business trends that could impact the firm.

· Participate in discussions on the firm’s direction and strategy across all levels

· Review all major technology investment decisions in conjunction with the BIS leadership team, to ensure that the firm is receiving excellent value and that key decisions are in line with the overall BIS direction of travel and architecture.

· Maintain relationships with key vendors to keep pace with innovation whilst influencing their strategy and product development in line with the firm’s objectives.

· Maintain relationships with key industry groups and peers to gather intelligence on the marketplace and build a positive market profile for the firm.

· Maintain team knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; attending professional conferences and events; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations such as ILTA and Litig.

· Enhances department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for challenges and successfully integrating unplanned initiatives into day to day service.

· Foster collaborative working relationships with IT colleagues and understand BIS systems dependencies and our operating environment.

· Ensure the development of the technical and soft skills of the teams to understand and exploit current and future version of key software and delivery methods.

Deputise for Director of IT as directed

Supports global major incident management & resolution

Key relationships:

· Internal: COO, General Council, Practice Leaders, Partners, Business Services Directors and Heads of function,, BIS Managers,

· External: Suppliers, Industry bodies, Statutory bodies, Clients

Budgetary / financial responsibility:

· The Head of Technology is responsible for developing and delivering a BIS direction of travel that meets with the commercial needs of the firm.

· The Head of Technology is responsible for the R&D budget

· The Head of Technology responsible for driving value for the firm through our relationship with key suppliers.

· Supporting technology purchasing decisions and negotiates with suppliers to sign off key contracts.


Key Skills and Experience:

· Extensive experience mentoring and developing technical staff at all levels.

· Proven experience of developing, documenting and implementing technical architecture landscape and strategies.

· Infrastructure design, re-engineering or re-platforming, involving broad-based information systems and utilising tools and techniques to effect change.

· Experience of large technology-enabled programmes, delivered in a complex and collaborative multi-vendor environment.

· Programme, project & software development delivery methods.

· Practical experience of lab based testing and prototyping using current and emerging technologies.

· Excellent communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.

· Ability to influence across all levels of the firm and its suppliers.

· Excellent negotiation and commercials skills.

· Required to be an excellent technical all-rounder with the ability to analyse and evaluate business requirements and to translate them into technical solutions, the Head of Technology should be extremely comfortable operating across all areas of technology.

· Detailed understanding of Architecture methods and approaches, including modelling techniques and lab based prototypes.

· Knowledge and experience of the TOGAF method would be an advantage.

· Familiarity with leading database and middleware platforms (both commercial and open source) and their products and an understanding of their potential to meet business needs.

· Technical specialism - able to provides organisational leadership and guidelines to promote the development and exploitation of technical knowledge in the organisation. Maintains broad technical knowledge across all the specialist areas covered in this discipline, which include:

o Hosting - cloud hosting, virtualisation, commodity (x86) hardware, storage architectures, distributed compute, data centre design and security

o Networks - secure external gateway, internal networks, broadband connectivity, Wi-Fi services, radio, IPT & Unified Comms, Data Centre networking, WAN, Campus & Branch LAN and Security

o Desktop & Mobility - end user devices, in vehicle systems, desktop virtualisation, collaboration tools, mobile device management and security

o Database & Middleware - load balancing, middleware architecture, database architecture, structured/unstructured data, search technologies

o Information Security – tools and techniques to ensure compliance with regulation and standards across the global business

· Excellent stakeholder relationship management, with confidence and conviction that engages and influences senior business leaders, even in challenging situations.

· Ability to use specialist knowledge of infrastructural technologies to direct and assure the development of infrastructure architecture, guiding designs through architectural governance including the Technology Council.

· Strong delivery focus and proactive style, that motivates, builds trust and inspires staff and other delivery partners to engage with and commit to high-tempo working and delivery.

· Ability to extract and translate business requirements into well-formed and consistent architectural requirements at conceptual, logical and physical levels, including functional and non-functional aspects.

· Ability to work closely with and challenge vendors and emerging technology partners to influence product direction and ensure vendor solutions meet architectural and strategic design standards.

· Commercially and technically astute problem solver, with the ability to quickly assimilate requirements and propose effective solutions.

Work Locations: Snow Hill Birmingham Two Snowhill Birmingham B4 6WR

Job: IT

Organisation: Business Services

Schedule: Full-time

Employee status: Regular

Gowling WLG

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