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Firm creates NJR Digital - as demand for digital evangelists grows

Over the past two weeks, the company, which specialises in senior level permanent and interim recruitment, has received several briefs for CIOs who can drive through digital change and are comfortable collaborating with externally-facing functions such as marketing and customer services. In response NJR is creating & lsquo;NJR Digital’ - a specialist team of interim digital CIOs.

According to the firm, this surge in demand is because the major digital developments of the moment are cloud services, data analytics, social media and e-commerce. These affect business development so profoundly, that they require a different breed of CIO, someone who can orientate and inspire the internal tech team to be much more outward looking.

NJR founder, Norrie Johnston says: “The businesses we’re speaking to recognise that they need to get better at knitting together many technology strands. They’re looking for people who understand IT from not just a technical but also a business development perspective and can transform the organisation’s tech strategy and culture.

“We’re seeing a real demand for a small group of experts who have a strong track record as digital evangelists within major organisations – and this trend shows no sign of abating. That’s why we’ve decided to focus on creating this specialist group, which companies can draw on.”

Steve Jeffree, the former chief operating officer of UCAS is one of NJR’s specialists. While at UCAS, which processes over 700,000 applications per annum to higher education, Steve helped the organisation introduce Cloud computing. This award-winning project helped UCAS gear up for its high pressure moments such as A-level results day, transforming its performance and reputation.

“Cloud is just one technology that companies are struggling to get to grips with,” argues Steve Jeffree, who has just been named one of the most Influential UK CIOs for 2014.

“It has the potential to deliver major savings and service improvements, its immensely scalable allows businesses to try before they buy and turn on features very quickly. This makes it ideal for supporting business development plans – but that demands CIOs who are comfortable talking marketing not just tech."

Norrie Johnston concludes: “The same can be said of big data, social media and continuous web improvement. Everyone knows that if they get smarter at applying these digital elements their business will fly – which is why CIOs, who are digital leaders, are in demand.”

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