Shona Leavey was promoted to Agilisys Guernsey’s Head of IT Services earlier this year, having transferred from the States of Guernsey as Head of IT Change in November 2019. Shona has been nominated for the Team Leader of the Year: Tech Sector category at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2020. We asked Shona some questions about her career so far and her advice to women looking to join the Tech industry.
Describe your most significant achievement as Team Leader over the last 12 months?
In August 2019, I was Head of IT Change for the States of Guernsey’s IT Services, gearing up to transfer our operations to Agilisys, who had been appointed the States of Guernsey’s strategic partner to deliver the island’s SMART Guernsey programme.
When we officially transferred to Agilisys on 1st November 2019, I was the only transferred member of staff to join the senior leadership team. This was a very exciting time both personally and professionally. I’d started my career with the States of Guernsey straight after high school and I worked my way up, earning the trust and respect of my colleagues, who know that my understanding of Guernsey’s public services together with my technical expertise is what enables me to make informed decisions with our island community at the heart of what I do.
This extensive knowledge has also helped me to lead the senior team in making some critical strategic decisions. This was evident as we responded to the impact of COVID-19 and rolled out what has been described as ‘two years’ work in just two months’. This included:
- Enabling remote working for the States of Guernsey Government and civil service
- Setting-up IT solutions to enable remote public services including Health and Social Care
- Employment and Social Security Benefits, Police, Courts and Law Officers
- Delivering new services to support the frontline response to COVID-19 including helplines as well as IT for the COVID-19 Hospital ICU and the Emergency Services
In May I became Interim Head of IT Services and on 2nd July, I was appointed to the role permanently, taking on the management of a team of 58 IT specialists. As Head of IT Services, I lead not just BAU IT, but also take into service the transformed IT estate across Guernsey’s public services. I’m passionate about ensuring all my colleagues understand the value they are delivering in enabling these programmes.
My most significant achievement over the last 12 months has been leading the project team that saw the successful transition of IT services and 58 members of staff from the States of Guernsey into Agilisys and then almost immediately pivoting at speed to deliver services in response to COVID-19. In programmes of this size, people must be engaged and informed throughout, and I’m proud to have led an incredible team through these challenges.