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Alastair McCullough

Personal photo - Alastair McCullough


Doctoral Student


Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QD


I've been fascinated by the design, development and realisation of data strategies and data architectures of various types for many years and have designed a suite of them for the boards of large enterprises, working with executives and senior managers at organisations including Aviva, TalkTalk, Shell, Telefonica, IBM, IAG, the BBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Sony Network Entertainment Europe, IKEA, Thames Water, E.ON, Ford of Europe, the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC for NHS), the UK Government (2021/2), and then most recently supporting the design and development of aspects of the new Enterprise Data Office (EDO) as a director in AstraZeneca in 2023. 

A key aspect of all this work lies in the nature of the strategic and regulatory governance of data, spanning ingestion and creation throughout the data lifecycle to archive or destruction.  Such governance needs to encompass the ownership, stewardship, custodianship and championship of data, the culture of data, the transformation of the organisation, the defined essence of governance in terms of policy, standards, procedures and the framework of governance to align with vision, mission and organisational goals.  It needs to take direct cognisance of the architecture of information technology, so areas such as operational data stores (warehouses, marts, file systems, databases, and their varietal technologies), data fabrics, data platforms, but also sociotechnical methods such as Data Mesh, and methodologies for designing and delivering information and data architectures, and therefore of software engineering methods.

Currently, I'm working to consider concepts leading to the development of a candidate regulatory information governance framework for industry, potentially with application across various domains.  The framework would consider how to own, steward, perform custodianship, and regulate data at scale, inculcate or support a pervasive data culture, encompass the whole data lifecycle, and be pragmatic – capable of implementation and realism.  Such a framework would be defined and instantiated via a Target Operating Model (TOM), potentially supported by a Component Business Model (CBM) such as a BOIT model variant, with inputs from appropriate conceptual Reference Architecture models.


Alastair McCullough has designed and delivered enterprise information architecture solutions across an over thirty-year career, spanning Oracle database technologies initially, business intelligence solutions, cloud data platform design, and specialising in leading data strategy, governance and regulation design and innovation.  His clients have included a wide range of commercial and government organisations, usually enterprises with over £1Bn annual turnover, and both civil and defence departments within the UK Government. At IBM, Alastair founded and led the Data Strategy, Governance and Modelling consulting group in IBM's UK Data Services Practice and founded the Cloud Data Modellers’ Guild in IBM Consulting in 2021.   At Thames Water, Alastair served as interim Head of Data and Information Architecture, designing their Enterprise Data Strategy in 2017.  At AstraZeneca, Alastair served as a director and global Head of Enterprise Information Architecture, leading a team of 45 information architects, data analysts and modellers spanning India, Sweden, the UK and US until July 2023.

Alastair read for his BA in Business at what is now London Metropolitan University, and for his MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design at City, University of London, where his thesis focused on Fourth Generation Synergetic Database Management System Environments.  Alastair has been a Visiting Lecturer at City, and an IBM Visiting Lecturer at Portsmouth University, Warwick University, and at Imperial College where he led an IBM team including IT Architects, Distinguished Engineers and consulting professionals teaching an annual intensive short course focusing on IBM IT Architecture methods for classes of 30 to 50 BSc students, for nine years up until 2019.  Alastair served as IBM Technical Leader, Data Themes, for six years with the Cambridge Service Alliance, a collaboration between industry, the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Judge Business School, and Cambridge University.

Alastair was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) in 2018, where he serves today as a member of the IET's Digital Policy Panel; as a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD), as a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society (CITP CEng FBCS), and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).  He is a Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP), was one of the first hundred Chartered Management Consultants (ChMC) awarded by the Chartered Management Institute in the UK, and was recognised as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) by the Engineering Council in 2022 based on his work with enterprise information architectures across 17 years.  Alastair has been recognised by IBM as a Certified Expert Consultant and Certified Expert IT Architect, and by The Open Group as a Certified Master Solution Architect.

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