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Brigadier Alan Hill enabling frontline intelligence

Mark Chillingworth | Nov. 8, 2013
British Army deputy CIO Alan Hill talks about the transformational challenges of recruiting and leading a digital army that deploys information as a weapon on the battlefield

His career has also seen stints in Northern Ireland and extensive training in the Arctic. He became head of information superiority — in effect, CIO — in 2011 after two years as commander of the 11th Signal Brigade where he was responsible for 3,000 troops.

Not many CIOs can claim to have led 3,000 individuals, so what are the leadership requirements?
"Command them by being with them, helping them, leading them and making sure they feel valued," he says. "And make sure you are out and about all the time — it's not about being sat in an office."

And the same is true of his current role. Although based at Army headquarters in Andover, Hampshire, he travels regularly and that means being ready for the next challenge or operation.

As a one-star brigadier Hill answers to a trio of two-star generals: the assistant chief of the general staff as CIO, the chief of staff of land forces for operations, and the director general of logistics, support and equipment for procurement and management.

"But I also answer to all the people that own the change programmes," he points out. "As for my team I have four direct reports for security, business, software and C4 ISR [command, control, computer, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) — all highly talented officers.

"I'm passionate about it. This is a people-centric role and it has kept me here for 30 years.

"The fun lies in spotting a good idea, running with it and delivering the value in it."


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