Head of Technology Strategy


Dublin, IE

Company:  Canada Life Group Services

Canada Life Group is the top-level European holding company for the Great-West Lifeco’s European insurance, reinsurance, and asset management companies, with business operations in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and the Isle of Man.
European Technology sits within Canada Life Group and encompasses the technology community across all European entities - Irish Life Group, Canada Life UK, Canada Life Europe as well as Central Technology Services - Europe. European Technology supports the business strategy and collaboration of technology across all European divisions. There are multiple IT units within European Technology, each of which has its own individual set of technology platforms. 


European Technology is at an important stage in its evolution. There is a need to bring market leading speed, agility, cost efficiency and risk mitigation to enable the delivery of strategies across the European businesses. To respond to and meet this challenge a new strategy and enabling organisation is being created.

This role can be based in Ireland or the UK .We have embraced a hybrid working model for most of our positions, which means that you can enjoy a balanced approach of working from home for part of the week and working from the office for the remainder of the week.

Job Purpose

The role of Head of Technology Strategy will work within the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Europe (OCIO) and report to the Chief Architect, Strategy, and Planning Officer. This role will lead a team and be responsible for developing, aligning, maintaining, and overseeing the execution of technology strategies throughout Europe and for maintaining and enhancing the strategic governance framework. 


Working within the framework of the European Technology strategy, the role will create relationships with key senior stakeholders, including country CIOs, country and Shared Services lead Architects and senior leaders. The role requires an in-depth understanding of business priorities and can connect technology with business goals, continuing to drive strategic value, delivering exceptional customer service and revenue growth. 

Key Accountabilities


1.    Direct the European Technology strategy development and evolution across European business entities within countries, and Shared Services units, focusing on the long-term sustainability of the IT estate and the businesses they serve
2.    Develop and own the European Cloud strategy in line with broader Technology strategies
3.    Responsible for driving the development and maintenance of the IT strategy governance framework
4.    Responsible for researching and promoting new technologies, practices, and operating models to evolve the IT organisation
5.    Responsible for adapting and dovetailing the technology strategy in line with the business strategy of each of the European companies
6.    Promote the adoption of new technologies implemented across Europe through change management (in conjunction with local change management units)
7.    Lead and motivate a team, managing the performance and development of direct reports, ensuring alignment with the European Technology strategic direction. Ensure robust succession planning and uses talent management strategies to build and retain capability
8.    Is a role model for the vision and values of European Technology, exemplifying the ways of working and culture where we do the right thing for our organisation and people to succeed; embracing diversity in all its forms to create an inclusive environment to get the best outcomes
9.    Key contributor to the European Technology annual planning and budgeting process and leads oversight of significant IT budgets

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

•    Significant experience and a proven track record of developing, leading, and implementing IT vision and strategy in large complex organisations, preferably across multiple geographies
•    Expert level of knowledge of IT strategy formulation, governance frameworks and architecture 
•    Experience leading and overseeing substantial technology change and transformation programs and initiatives and associated spend and budgets
•    Deep knowledge and understanding of IT governance and risk and operational risk
•    Exposure to an environment with Board and regulatory oversight
•    Excellent commercial acumen and ability to translate business objectives into IT strategy and roadmaps through to implementation 
•    Direct experience with financial management issues and activities, preparing budgets and forecasts based on operational requirements
•    Strong knowledge of product and systems life cycles 
•    Degree in Engineering, Business Administration, or a technology-related field, or equivalent work or education-related experience. Master’s Degree is a plus

Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Decision Making 
•    Experience setting out strategic multi-year technology roadmaps, supported by comprehensive strategies that can be presented to Business Executives, Boards, and Regulators 
•    Abreast of industry trends, innovative change, and industry best practices to inform the strategic direction of the technology roadmap and drive successful outcomes for lines of business
•    Ability to influence key senior stakeholders in Europe and globally across the organisation bringing technical depth to ensure the IT strategy and vision underpins the business value

Leadership Skills 
•    Expert level leadership skills and competencies refined through experience operating at a senior level, leading teams of experts
•    Ability to lead experienced practitioners with a diverse range of knowledge and capabilities to drive business success
•    Proven leadership capability, with a track record of attracting and recruiting top talent, motivating teams, delegating effectively, celebrating diversity within, and driving performance; with a strong track record of developing others
•    Ability to partner with and relationship manage senior business executives and technology leaders to connect technology and business goals and achieve successful customer and commercial outcomes

Communications Skills 
•    IT strategy is complex and being able to simplify the message and articulate the key points so that senior business leaders can quickly understand the complexity to make decisions is vital to the success of this role 
•    Listening and being able to translate the commercial and business strategies so they connect with the technology strategy is also imperative to success
•    Having executive presence, with the ability to use language and examples that speak to the issues, experience, and organisational level of the audience

Decision Quality and Problem-Solving Skills 
•    Demonstrate the use of a combination of logic, analysis, experience, and wisdom to solve complex, difficult problems in a timely and innovative way
•    Deliver solutions and decisions that have a positive, far-reaching, and comprehensive organizational impact, influencing future events and directions
•    Think and act globally as the technology strategy decisions impact across jurisdictions 

Behavioural Competencies

•    Outward focus: Understands the business environment and internal/external customer needs, and identifies business opportunities that create a competitive advantage
•    Drive Innovation: Creates an environment that encourages new approaches, challenges the status quo, and inspires creativity and risk-taking while protecting the core
•    Develop Talent: Attracts, motivates, and develops talent to build the right team to meet strategic direction and tomorrow’s needs. 
•    Build collaborative partnerships: Able to foster collaborative relationships across functions and business to facilitate cooperation and information exchanges that improve customer and business outcomes
•    Lead the organisation forward:  Inspires a vision that adapts to new realities, articulating meaningful expectations, and creating clear pathways to desired outcomes
•    Execute for results: Drives results and contributes to change processes that improve organisational performance and creates a culture of accountability
•    Functional/Technical: Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment. Demonstrates active interest and ability to enhance and apply new functional skills
•    Risk control and regulatory environment: Understands and effectively manages all potential material risks (to the business and to customers) that are relevant to the role, following agreed processes. Understands the regulatory environment of the business
•    Commercial Awareness: Understands and manages business conflicts to ensure the effective utilisation of business resources to prioritise delivery outcomes.


The company reserves the right to draw up a shortlist as part of the selection process.  Where Agency assistance is required the Canada Life Recruitment Team will engage directly with suppliers. Unsolicited CVs / profiles supplied to Canada Life by Recruitment Agencies will not be accepted for this role.

Canada Life Group Services is proud to be an Equal Opportunities employer. We have created an environment of inclusion and growth to help people achieve their potential, to ensure they can bring their whole selves to work and to feel valued.  We celebrate diversity of thought and perspective and want all of our employees to feel valued, respected and supported.  We have built a culture that promotes equality and inclusion for all of our current and future employees and strive to ensure that our behaviours, processes and practices are aligned to this culture.

If you require any accommodations during the recruitment process please contact lifecareers@irishlife.ie and we will be delighted to ensure you are fully supported to be your best.   

CLGS supports Equal Opportunity and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland