Tom Baker leaves Sunderland for Norfolk CIO role
Sunderland head of ICT credited with helping create a 'super connected city' on Wearside
Sunderland City Council's chief information officer Tom Baker is to move to a new role overseeing IT at Norfolk County Council.
News of Baker's move recently emerged at the Socitm conference where Baker was due to take part in a presentation discussing Smart Cities but was unable to take part because of commitments in Sunderland. Baker's LinkedIn profile indicates his new role.
At Sunderland, Baker has helped drive a broad strategic goal that has enabled the North-East city become something of a silicon hub.
In 2011, Sunderland announced that it would become a fully "super connected city" and began work on an urban cloud-computing strategy with IBM to help stimulate economic growth in Sunderland. Under Baker's guidance, both projects have helped build a platform for innovation across the city.
Council officials have described Sunderland's cloud as "a cornerstone" of its economic masterplan. In addition to the financial savings, the cloud will provide a low cost, accessible and network for use across the city. One of a number of initiatives being implemented, it will allow residents to access services and information in a quicker and easier way, making the council more responsive. Businesses, agencies and public sector partners are also expected to use the cloud for improved collaboration.
Baker, who has yet to comment publicly on his new Norfolk role, also chaired the North East ICT Managers Association and represented the North East on the Local Government CIO Council.
David White, chief executive of Norfolk County Council, said: "We are delighted to have Tom on board from Monday (10 December) and look forward to being able to use his expertise to drive forward our ICT programme.
"Tom has a history of spearheading projects to bring innovative IT solutions in both the public and private sectors and I'm keen to see this experience benefit Norfolk," he added.
"As a dynamic authority we are already leading the way in finding better ways of working and bringing improvements for the people of Norfolk; this year has already seen Norfolk County Council win national recognition for our cloud computing strategy in schools and successful Better Broadband campaign, and I'm sure Tom's skills will further boost the vision and work of the authority."
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, paid tribute to Baker's work. He said: "During his time with the council, Tom's work has undoubtedly helped to accelerate the city's forward-thinking vision for the growth of the software and technology sector.
"With his insight and support, Sunderland has established a reputation as a truly pioneering city when it comes to software and ICT. From our visionary programme to deliver superfast wall-to-wall broadband to the latest ground-breaking cloud data storage technology, the work Tom has been involved in here will leave a lasting legacy for people and businesses in the city, and it is something we are committed to building upon in the future.
"The whole team at Sunderland City Council will no doubt join me in wishing Tom all the very best in his new role."