Head of IT Infrastructure & Operations
Head of IT Infrastructure & Operations - London - c£100-120k + bonus + benefits - Global Insurer
This is a leadership position responsible for managing and directing the operational engineering team to deliver secure and reliable infrastructure services.
This is a critical role within the IT function providing services to a dynamic fast growing business intending to double turnover and headcount over the next 3 years. The role frequently engages with senior business stakeholders and requires a balance of strong stakeholder management skills and leadership skills. It requires the ability to operate at a senior level and also at the technical level with the operations team.
The overall technical responsibility is to manage the operation of the infrastructure for the supported locations globally. There are several key areas of accountability in this role including: management of the data centres and cloud hosting facility in Azure and also the server rooms around the region, management of the server environment, storage and backup infrastructure, and 3rd level technical operation of desktop/client technology, exchange messaging and archiving, and application systems infrastructure. Also included is the operation of telecommunications infrastructure, including WAN, LAN network cabling, telephony systems, routers etc.
The user base of approximately 4000 globally covering all business segment. The role requires specific attention to quality of service in support of the overall objectives of the Global Operations and Infrastructure group working in collaboration with other colleagues in the UK and Internationally.
Key Responsibilities / Accountabilities
- Engage with business stakeholders at all levels to manage service delivery, building strong relationships and managing service reviews
- Provide strategic leadership to the operational infrastructure technology team.
- Support mergers & acquisitions activity as part of the planned growth of the company and manage integration work
- Be an active member of the management team leading in some initiatives for groups as appropriate.
- Collaborate effectively with other technology colleagues globally.
- Management and operation of the data centre and network infrastructure including server, storage and backup services and all infrastructure hosted in data centres and server rooms. Also provide technical 3rd line support for desktop environment
- Management and operation of all network services (local and wide area)
- Management and operation of telephone service through SaaS vendor
- You will be expected to establish “best practices” and pro-actively drive operational improvement
- Maintain a secure environment, managing any risk to business information and infrastructure
- Manage an on-call schedule to provide out-of-hours support as required.
- Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements
- Manage the financial governance of the infrastructure operations budget, including planning and definition of the annual budget and delivery of services within the approved budget
- Establish Service Catalogue detailing SLAs and consumption based costing to support the annual allocation process
- Manage the disaster recovery site facility and ensure operational availability at all times.
- Manage periodic maintenance including patching and infrastructure refresh work to help achieve a reliable environment and reduce outages and down time
- Ensure routine standard operation procedures are documented and followed
- Manage Operations work priorities and use resources as effectively as possible.
- Provide support where needed with cyber security and vulnerability management to ensure there is an understanding of what the ideal target state looks like and ensure a plan of actions is established and implemented to address gaps by priority.
- Provide technical support for local IT in the event of major incidents such as a Cyber Security issue or a local Disaster.
- Provide support for use of cloud based SaaS, PaaS and IaaS solutions, assist with licencing leveraging the Enterprise offerings where economical and drive forward with our cloud first strategy
Skills and abilities needed to perform role
- Ability to work in a fast-paced dynamic environment with high degrees of ambiguity arising from a period of significant change
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, working with demanding clients and senior management
- An understanding of the importance of excellent customer service and a “can do” attitude
- Proven Leadership and ability to work well in a team environment
- Experience working in Financial Services in a Regulated environment
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Strong background in Microsoft based solutions
- Strong background in Windows
- Strong stakeholder management
- Strong prioritisation skills and ability to define processes
- Experience working in the Insurance sector
- Project management experience
- Effective problem solving skills based on clear reasoning and sound rationale
- Tactful, diplomatic and able to thrive in an ever-changing environment
- Patience and empathy when dealing with customers and colleagues
- Ability to work pro-actively, under pressure and independently with minimal direction
Knowledge and Experience
- Experience working in a regional or international remit
- Excellent communication to facilitate difficult discussions and conflicting demands between business and partners including technology, risk, legal etc.
- Ability to summarise, identify and communicate strategic themes
- 5 + years of Experience with full suite of Microsoft products
- Evidence working at senior level
- Service Management experience working with business stakeholders to review service delivery
- Strong vendor management experience
- Experience working with outsourced vendors
- Ability to understand and support/facilitate resolution of technology issues and experience operating a Major Incident Management process
- Knowledge of disaster recovery, including site level failover
- Solid experience with Backup, restore & retention
- A proven track record of running an infrastructure operations environment to the highest professional standards, including strong service, operation, and delivery process/documentations standards
- Strong customer service orientation; strong interpersonal, organisational and communication skills
- Communicates effectively orally and in writing and can present complex technical information to both technical and non-technical audiences.
- Ability to work and adapt in a dynamic environment and recognise priority issues, escalating accordingly.
- Ability to develop a business case and track costs, negotiate vendor contracts and develop a statement of work (SOW).
- Extensive experience of building and managing effective teams with varied skills and disciplines
- Continuous process improvement orientation and experience in an operational context
- Experience with Change and Release Management and ITIL Service Management methodologies
- Excellent financial/budget management experience
- A good understanding of Azure billing, Azure licensing (BYOL) and Azure cost optimisation
Our client predominantly use the Microsoft technology stack and related products, a good understanding of the following is critical in operating the infrastructure.
- Microsoft Azure (ExpressRoute, Networking, IaaS, PaaS)
- Azure resource manager & knowledge of ARM templates
- Microsoft Server Operating Systems (Windows 2008R2 through Windows 2016)
- Microsoft Client Operating Systems (Windows 7 and Windows 10)
- Microsoft Systems Centre (SCOM, SCCM in particular)
- VMWare vSphere (5.5, 6, 6.5)
- Citrix XenApp
- Active Directory (ADDS, Azure Active Directory Services)
- Microsoft Exchange (2010 through to 2016)
- Microsoft SharePoint Services (2010 & 2013, related technologies such as Nintex)
- Office365, its constituent technologies (SfB, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online)
- Networking concepts and principles, WAN \ LAN design, network segregation
- Remote access methods and technologies (VPNs, Proxies, etc)
- Security technologies and best practices, in particular Cyber Security Essentials (Patch Management, Firewall Management, Logging and Auditing, PKI, NAC, Mimecast, RBAC models)
- Backup Services (Veeam, Symantec Netbackup, EV)
- Data Centre Hardware (HP Servers, 3Par and Exagrid Storage, Juniper Switches)
- Degree in Computer Science or related field or technical area or equivalent professional experience
- Minimum ten years of experience in Information Technology with significant portion of time managing infrastructure.
- ITIL certification
- Relevant professional IT qualifications
- Minimum five + years managing people, personnel and career development in infrastructure technology
- Minimum three + years budget cost centre management responsibilities
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills including meeting facilitation
- Ability to work in a complex and changing environment
- Knowledge of COBIT
- Excellent listening skills and the ability to apply the knowledge gained effectively
- Success energising and influencing teams toward change
- Excellent organisational, leadership and decision-making skills
- Innovative in respect of service quality and ways in which it can be improved within the bounds of the organisation
- Good technical understanding of all aspects of infrastructure including back office, desktop and telecommunications and an ability to translate technical issues into business impacts and vice versa
- Willingness to travel to various locations as needed.
- Experience in managing infrastructure for critical business systems and applications
- Manage team of approximately 25 with associated budget
- Operating Expenses of approximately £4.5 million, ensuring that the annual budgeting process is completed and financial process requirements are met.
- Approximately 4000 users
- Manage Corrective Action Review (CAR) process and present Major Incident Reports at monthly CAR meetings, and address any actions arising from the incidents.
- Work with suppliers to implement cost effective solutions and services, negotiating competitive terms where possible.
- Manage conflicting requirements and priorities across business segments and establish agreement on priorities when necessary.
- Work with and lead technicians and vendors to diagnose problems and manage operational incidents with strong sense of urgency, out of hours or at weekends as necessary to preserve the business performance and service levels.
- Identify innovative technical solutions to meet business needs cost effectively
- Develop a strategy for people development to improve the capability of the resources in the team, close any skills gaps and improve the service delivery to the business. This will include establishing a good team working environment for the consolidated team leading to a strong cohesive productive group.
- Identify any process improvement opportunities in the Infrastructure Operations area based on data and implement solutions for measurable improvement.
- Establish a mechanism is capturing all work requested and balancing resource availability to deliver business needs or pro-actively identify variable staffing requirements.