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Gordon Cullum

Spotlight:Gordon Cullum - Technology Director

Gordon, can you describe your role at Axiologik?

By trade, I’m an enterprise architect and CTO, but within Axiologik I’m the Technology Director, so I’m accountable for building out the services that compliment our delivery management capabilities, including technology design, implementation and engineering. Day-to-day I also run the UK Health Security Agency account, overseeing the Test and Trace engagement for which we provide architecture, delivery and product management services.

What is your favourite part of your role as Technology Director?

My favourite part of the role is the opportunity to be creative – whether that’s making something using a new technology, or using existing technology in a new way to solve a problem. I think my hands-on architecture experience gives me a unique leadership perspective because I understand the challenges the team are up against.

What projects are you currently engaged with?

I’m currently leading the UK Health Security Agency engagement, which began back in September 2020. Originally, I was brought into the leadership team of the strategic trace programme as an individual consultant, but in October 2021 Axiologik were asked to take ownership of the entire portfolio of products and services that make up trace operations.

The original trace programme was a network of solutions that had come together fairly organically in order to get us through the first summer of the pandemic, but by September 2020, NHS Digital were looking to streamline these solutions into a singular, comprehensive programme.

As a result of being built as a real-time pandemic response, my colleagues and I inherited quite a lot of ‘organic mess’ which took some time to unravel. In deconstructing the existing setup, we were able to create a network of platform components that would form the ‘blueprint’ for how to approach building population-scale critical digital services later down the line – including containment and the integration with the testing and vaccination infrastructures.

What is your favourite project to date and why?

One that immediately comes to mind is working on “The Spine'' back in the mid 2000’s. Myself, Ben, Rob and Adrian (the Axiologik founders) were all part of the team responsible for the original incarnation of things like the Summary Care Record, electronic prescriptions and other digital healthcare services which we all take for granted now. Knowing that the work has touched so many lives is a big part of why I’m so proud of it.

Another favourite that comes to mind is working on the London Eye. We were building computer systems and software from scratch so that everything from the tills, to the website, to the access controls being used by the ticket scanners could be held in one single system. I’m not sure if it’s the case anymore, but at the time the wheel only stopped once per year for maintenance, which was our only opportunity to go into County Hall and start ripping out terminals – which thankfully, was a success!

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