TECHWORK 23: Stewart White, Big Society Capital
White joined Big Society Capital in 2021 as head of IT projects and technology. He was then promoted to head of IT a year later.
He began his career as an IT developer at an agricultural research centre at Cambridge University before moving into IT infrastructure, support and management roles, working at a wide variety of organisations including a housing association, a software house and an insurance broker, as well as running his own IT consultancy business.
White holds a BSc in computing studies from the University of East Anglia.
His key responsibilities at Big Society Capital are managing IT projects and infrastructure, and new technologies.
His main achievements so far include: Migrating the firm’s previously creaking on-premises SharePoint system to SharePoint Online. Making progress in simplifying and standardising the firm’s diverse range of IT software and cloud systems so that staff can concentrate more on growing social impact investment, rather than having to manage and maintain siloed IT systems. Introducing a helpdesk management system to ensure that issues are logged and tracked rather than disappearing into the ether. Installing better videoconferencing throughout meeting rooms. Implementing a lean approach to IT delivery rather than using conventional alternatives such as ITIL that are often more interested in the definition of a problem and an incident, than getting the job done.
He is currently working on expanding the prototype data warehouse into useful real-world usage. White is also integrating conventional telephony into the MS Teams system, replacing the firm’s fleet of HP laptops with Microsoft Surface Pros.
In the future, White hopes to migrate from conventional Active Directory to Azure AD, which will remove the need to expire user passwords through greater and more integrated use of MFA. He would also like to work on retiring the firm’s remaining two on-premises server systems to replace them with Azure-based alternatives.
Another aim is to automate new starter and leaver IT processes through MS Forms, further simplifying and standardising IT infrastructure and systems.
In general, White would like to provide as seamless and as efficient an IT infrastructure as possible, to allow staff to concentrate on growing social impact investment in the UK within social property, impact venture, social lending and social outcomes contracting.
His current tech stack primarily consists of Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online, SQL Server and Salesforce.