When you first meet Nigel Watson, newly appointed Group Director of Information Services at Northumbrian Water Group Ltd, expect him to talk about innovation with an enthusiasm and passion that is infectious.
He is also clearly committed to ensuring the next generation is given a chance to develop and is clearly proud of the new Degree Apprenticeship scheme underway in his area of business.
Not surprising from a man who started his own career on a government Youth Opportunities Programme at the Eastern Electricity Board in Ipswich; the start of a career that resulted in Nigel holding senior positions in business analysis, programme management and his specialist field of transformation, mergers and acquisitions. Having worked in 24 countries, Nigel’s previous employers are some of the most prestigious organisations in the world; GE Capital, Microsoft, Vodafone and Travelport, to name buy a few.
He joined Northumbrian Water Group in 2015 to help the company prepare for the opening of the retail competition for business customers. His latest appointment sees him lead the development and use of new technologies.
“With cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the seemingly relentless march of technological advances we have to continuously find ways to make it easier for our customers to interact with us,” he explained.
“Advancing technologies will also help us to run our network more efficiently and we are already looking at “smart” equipment, drones, 360 degree cameras, image recognition, gas signature detecting lasers...the list is endless.
“What excites me most is the commitment and passion shared by everyone here at NWG and a culture that wants to challenge, explore and experiment with new ways of doing things better, all with the shared aim of providing excellent service.
“We will achieve this by combining the experience of generations with new, emerging talent in the young people who are joining us in our new apprentice schemes.”
Nigel is happily settled in Durham with his family. When he gets any free time, and there’s not much if that with four teenagers, he enjoys theatre, taking part in the occasional Triathlon and watching Spurs, albeit not as often in person these days.