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Harvey Durrant – Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service – CIO Transformation LIVE – Manchester 2019

Harvey Durrant – Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service – CIO Transformation LIVE – Manchester 2019

DAVID TERRAR [00:00:00] Hi, I’m David Terrar reporting for CIO Transformation, live here at Manchester Central, and now I’ve got Harvey Durrant with me. Harvey, can you introduce yourself and who you are for?

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:00:10] Of course David, my name is Harvey Durrant and I currently work for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, I’m leading their digital transformation for the last 5 years.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:00:17] Excellent, excellent stuff. Now you’re speaking at the show today. Tell us the title of your talk. And it’s intriguing. Tell us about it.

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:00:24] It’s a digital disruption. So basically, should we embrace it, avoid it or completely ignore it? And I take the audience through. Is it actually really happening? I think there’s a lot of things being badged as disruption. And I would sa…

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:00:36] It’s a catchall for too much.

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:00:37] Absolutely, way too much. Is there any really case studies out there? I’ve got one full transformational case study, one kind of more of a skunkworks approach, which I actually only picked up in the NYT Slate magazine the other day, and one that’s effectively the I think we’re fighting too much of which is the disruption through acquisition and then subsequent destruction to shareholder value I think is a plot.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:00:57] Any key message from the thing for us?

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:01:02] I think the main messages are it’s not simple. It takes time. If you want to deliver a kind of any meaningful transformation, you know, you’re going to be in measuring it in years, not in months. And I think the main thing is that actually the digital bits is it is a misnomer. It’s the transformation of the business models, and then using the latest generation of technology to support those. Not less slaps on I.T. and get loads of data. And that’s done on digital transformation for us.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:01:27] So way more than just a technology story?

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:01:29] Way more than the technology, if that the technology is actually the easy bit, if we’re being honest about it. The difficult bit is the cultural change, the engagement, getting people who’ve worked 30 years in one way to actually fundamentally change how they do it and actually understand that as to why we’re doing it.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:01:42] And the leadership component is really important, too.

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:01:45] I think that’s fundamental. I think I’ve been lucky. In that we’ve had, I’ve had 2 chiefs and back to the original chief or 1 watches and I was the “gunman”. And we’ve have had full support from our exact board and the authority for the 5 year. Which is, you know, a long time to maintain political and executive support in a transformation. Especially when the first 2 years we didn’t really deliver any value to the organisation. We just got the organisation ready to transform.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:02:08] What do you think to my contention that you need to break it up into manageable chunks?

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:02:11] Absolutely. I gave a presentation a couple of years ago on how do you deliver a kind of systemic transformational change and you have a macro vision and you deliver it into a micro slices. Because otherwise, I mean, the thing is, if you’re taking 3 to four 4 to do a transformation and by the time we finished, it will have been nearly knowing. We’re lucky. We’ve got a fairly state we dont have competitors to worry about at the minute. We just have austerity to find. I think if you’re delivering anything as a big bang approach is going to fail because what you want to do today delivered in 4 or 5 years time is not what you want to do in 4 or 5 years time. So it’s about that ability to change while you’re doing the transformation. Sounds exciting.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:02:48] What do you think of the show?

 

HARVEY DURRANT [00:02:49] I’m enjoying it so far. I was quite fascinated to a talk on machine learning earlier. I’ve spoken to a couple of vendors, a found one that’s really useful. We’re looking for a supplier in that space. So far, we’ve only had 2 presentations. They’ve always been interesting.

 

DAVID TERRAR [00:03:02] Harvey, thank you very much for telling us all about that. And if you check back here at the CIO Transformation TV and on #ciotl, you’ll get more content like this during the day. Thank you.