Head of Digital Operations

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National Audit Office

Listed on

17th April


London & Newcastle



Salary Notes

£80k more may be available for exceptional candidates



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Job Title: Head of Digital Operations
Location: London & Newcastle
Employment type: Full time & Permanent
Salary: £80k more may be available for exceptional candidates

About the National Audit Office
The National Audit Office (NAO) is the UK's main public sector audit body. Independent of government, we have responsibility for auditing the accounts of various public sector bodies, examining the propriety of government spending, assessing risks to financial control and accountability, and reviewing the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of programmes, projects, and activities. We report directly to Parliament, through the Committee of Public Accounts of the House of Commons which uses our reports as the basis of its own investigations. We employ approx. 1,000 people, most of whom are qualified accountants, trainees, or technicians. The organisation comprises two service lines: financial audit, and value for money (VFM) audit and has a strong core of highly talented corporate teams. The NAO welcomes applications from everyone. We value diversity in all its forms and the difference it makes to our organisation. By removing barriers and creating an inclusive culture
all our people can develop and maximise their full potential. As members of the Business Disability Forum and the Disability Confident Scheme we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria.

The NAO supports flexible working and is happy to discuss this with you at application stage.

Head of Digital Operations is a newly created role within the NAO's Digital Services (DS) function. Leading a newly created team bringing together; Service Management, technology & cloud operations, the management of all digital strategic support managed service providers, including service desk, 2nd-4th line support, End User & Infrastructure Computing (EUIC), network & connectivity management and leading an internal technical operations team.

The Head of Digital Operations is responsible for the operational effectiveness of all the NAO's digital estate. This includes ensuring the availability, accessibility, reliability, security and operational effectiveness of all NAO digital systems, services, and networks. This also includes ensuring that all digital service provision meets or exceeds the performance targets, service standards and the digital needs of the organisation. This role reports into the Head of IT.

This team consists of circa ten permanent team members and a number of externally managed support service providers. Managed support contracts boost support capacity and capability and cost in the region of £1.5m annually. The digital estate comprises circa 1,500 users in offices in London, Newcastle, and remote users anywhere in the world.

This role requires regular attendance to the office in Victoria, London, and occasional attendance in the NAO's office in Newcastle.

Function Responsibilities -
To oversee the management, delivery and performance of all DS operations including support, maintenance, vulnerability management, service management, end user & infrastructure computing services, networking & all digital connectivity, security, and operational integrity.
Ensuring the availability, accessibility, security, and operational effectiveness of all NAO digital systems, equipment, services, environments & networks. Through active service monitoring and response management during core operational hours (8am - 6pm working days) and alert monitoring and escalation responses outside of core hours.
To ensure that all incidents and service requests are responded to and resolved within agreed SLAs, to appropriate quality thresholds, meeting, or exceeding customer satisfaction targets.
To manage major incidents, expediate resolutions and own major incident review.
Own Problem & Change management, ensuring changes and enhancements comply with the change framework, follow NAO architectural principles, and adhere to all change protocols and related administrative practices.
Lead all ITIL processes across NAO DS Teams for all technical services.
Develop, communicate, and execute a clear vision for our technology operations roadmap. Producing, maintaining, and publishing relevant technology roadmaps, architectural diagrams, high/low level service design diagrams for the NAO's DS Operations technology.
To oversee and direct supplier and contract management of DS managed service contracts. Fostering a collaborative approach, ensuring suppliers deliver against contractual obligations whilst adopting a continuous improvement ethos. This includes devising supplier KPIs/SLAs, managing, tracking, and reporting on supplier performance.
Foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and customer-centricity within the DSOperations team.
Own and maintain DS Operations activities and drive continuous improvements in technology operations, addressing stability issues, enhancing service quality, and ensuring alignment with long term business needs.

Team Responsibilities -
Ensure all DS Operations Team members have clear roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities. Agreeing annual objectives and goals, ensuring team level objectives are met and that there is cohesive and joined up working between and across suppliers and NAO teams.
Manage team performance, ensuring alignment with NAO and DS values. Implement and manage personal development plans to foster growth and potential.
People Management including training, coaching, development, recruiting, workload management and performance coaching.
Team knowledge share and guidance provided to address any single points of failure/success. Effective succession planning and capacity / capability management to ensured continued service delivery and continuous improvement for DS Operations
Work planning and forecasting across the team to ensure operational activities are fully resourced and funded as the organisation requires.

Supplier & Commercial Management -
Establish strategic partnerships with key business partners, managing performance and vendor relationships.
Ensure suppliers deliver in line with commercial obligations and service levels. Manage and report contract performance including breaches and necessary responses, such as milestone/performance payments or service credits (depending on contract)
Have in-depth knowledge of relevant external regulations and internal processes, as well as all contract schedules together with their interdependencies and primacy. Including a thorough understanding of the protections and levers available to the NAO [within supplier contracts], together with when and how to invoke them.
Working with the DS Commercial and Business Management team [and NAO Central Procurement Team] to procure, manage and direct all large DS Managed service contracts. Ensuring that NAO contract management systems are kept up to date about current contracts and the pipeline of future contracts.
Ensure that supplier service levels remain relevant to the NAO, manage all contract documentation and correspondence, overseeing all contract variations, extensions, closures etc.
Ensure that invoicing is accurate, maintaining a forward schedule of recurring tasks and future deliverables and change related activity.

Tools -
Operating as primary internal customer for the NAO's ServiceNow (SN) implementation, determining how SN should be designed and configured for optimal use by DS Operations (and wider teams) and in-turn overseeing that all DS teams are using the tool in an optimal manner. Ensuring that all knowledge & guidance articles are up to date and effective. Ensuring quality information is captured within SN, ensuring that internal and supplier teams complete all tags and records with an appropriate level of detail.
Driving automation and efficiencies using SN and other technical tools.
Enable the team to work more proactively rather than reactively. Maintaining current and future tooling roadmaps for the DS IT Operations function, through proactive horizon scanning and active management of tooling legacy statuses and related enterprise debt

Corporate Technology -
Ensuring that all technologies used by the NAO are available as required, have the appropriate level of access & licensing, incorporate the necessary level of security, have sufficient infrastructure [or bandwidth] capacity to remain operational. Monitoring forward forecasts of staffing numbers from NAO HR to ensure that corporate licensing remains adequate and appropriate.
Monitor IT infrastructure and application metrics relating to performance, capacity, utilisation, and availability. Reporting on performance against agreed targets.

Responding ahead of potential issue trigger points
Working closely with the DS Portfolio Manager, Delivery managers and technical Team Leads ensuring a smooth and successful transition of change projects, projects, and CIinto operation running & support.

Personal skills
Self-starter with energy and enthusiasm for driving continuous improvement and organisational learning.
Organised and structured, with excellent attention to detail and the ability to prioritise and plan.
Good emotional intelligence skills, ability to empathise with customer, team, and supplier challenges and to coach internal teams and external suppliers to effective delivery.
Well-developed negotiating skills, applied in a supplier management environment.
Strong communication and inter-personal skills with the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with colleagues and external parties, together with the ability to lead teams within a distributed/hybrid environment.
Ability to influence outcomes and gain buy-in for new initiatives and ways of working.
Able to work under pressure and within tight deadlines both independently and with others demonstrating flexibility and resilience.
Strong commercial awareness, including procurement, tendering, and supplier relationship management.

Business and technical skills
Leading NAO Digital Operations: Leading technical teams and suppliers to maintain, sustain, secure, and support the NAO's digital estate. Overseeing demand-led service delivery, ensuring a thorough knowledge of the service requirements and expectations of the NAO and of the commensurate resources, services, and tools necessary to meet that demand.
Leading continuous improvement & problem management: Leading investigative work into problems and opportunities in existing processes for optimisation. Managing and leading the collection of information and creation of recommendations for improvements
Contract & commercial management: Experience in complex contract management, contract commercial terms, service levels and contract negotiation. Function as the escalation point and resolve large or high-risk commercial management issues relating to key managed service contracts within NAO Digital Operations
Technology landscape: Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the technologies and technical concepts required and how these fit in to the wider technical landscape both internally and externally. A good awareness & knowledge of:
o All Microsoft tools, operating systems, and platforms - from desktop through to
M365 and Azure cloud capabilities
o ServiceNow architecture, systems, integrations, and wider ecosystem
o Conferencing & networking technologies - ideally Cisco & Microsoft Teams Rooms
o Monitoring, alerting, packaging, and exposure management tools.
o Experience of infrastructure management within a cloud-based environment.
o Experience of modern Information Security Operations, from backup & patching through to identify management and data loss prevention.

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