Head of Application Hosting and Support

World Food Programme, Italy

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
29th July, 2019

Job Description


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


Digital solutions are rapidly reaching some of the most vulnerable people and places affected by crisis. As one of the main humanitarian actors, WFP has the opportunity and the obligation to leverage data and technology to better know and serve those in need by digitally transforming the way it works. Such ambition led to a plan aimed at establishing, integrating, and mainstreaming the core elements of an end-to-end digital solution, and the Technology Division (TEC) has embarked in a transformation journey to become a flexible, customer centric, digital leader.


The Operations / Service Management Branch (TECM) drives the implementation of a catalogue of services that are aligned to the business and provides a global support to production systems. To achieve this

ambition, we are looking for a solid, experienced Head of Application Hosting and Support. The incumbent will report to the Chief of TECM and will interact with the other Heads in TECM - namely client/server Infrastructure, Networking and Business Support – and with the development teams in the Solution Delivery Branch (TECD).

The incumbent will supervise a team of around 18 IT professionals, split into 3 distinct teams: Application Hosting, Application Support, and Product Management. The IT Manager will carry out supervisory responsibilities, including hiring and training staff members, planning and assigning their work, performance, and coaching of staff and decisions regarding development and performance management. She/he serves as a member of the IT management team and participates in diverse Management Boards and acts as a technical subject matter expert, project manager, and resource manager, supporting strategic initiatives throughout IT with a focus on DevOps. The incumbent is the primary focal point for all activities related to hosting environments. She/he oversees and directs the daily IT application support activities, providing analysis, planning, and technical leadership of complex IT initiatives, while implementing strategies for IT operations. The incumbent ensures compliance with deadlines and SLAs while tracking and reporting on IT operating environment availability. He/she is responsible for coordinating the activities around planning, production and adoption of IT products at all stages of its lifecycle, and for guiding the success of a product and leading a cross-functional team responsible for improving it, setting the strategy, roadmap, features definition while ensuring maximum product adoption by the customers.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Application support: maintain and optimize all WFP digital solutions globally.
  • Hosting: design, manage, optimize hosting services, both on-premises and on cloud.
  • Product management: manage corporate products, fostering adoption, defining roadmaps, capturing training requirements, relying bug-fixes and improvements to the Development teams
  • Coordinate application support with the other TECM Units and with IT Architecture, IT Security and Development / Solution Delivery so IT systems aligned with business needs, in line with WFP corporate standards.
  • Contribute to mainstreaming DevSecOps principles and best practices.
  • Initiate troubleshooting concerning issues that affect WFP applications and follow-up with the Problem Management team.
  • Implement cybersecurity best practices throughout on-premise and on cloud solutions.
  • Serve as member of the Architecture, Release, Demand and Project boards.
  • Contribute to the review of system architectures and provide input to IT Architecture and De velopment / Solution Delivery.
  • Participate in emergency preparedness and contingency planning, providing technical recommendations and monitoring the management of risks, so that WFP can maintain basic IT services and/or quickly respond and deploy resources to affected areas at the onset of a crisis.
  • Participate in the development of plans, budgets and policies.
  • Represent WFP at fora,meetings and conferences, to gather and share best practice, and propose new approaches to improve IT service delivery.
  • Manage and motivate the team, providing coaching, training and guidance to ensure appropriate development and enable high performance.
  • Other duties as required.


Education: Advanced university degree in Computer Science, engineering or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience or trainings/courses.


  • Eight years or more (of which three international) of postgraduate progressively responsible professional experience in IT with an interest in international humanitarian development.
  • Four years or more in Application Hosting and Maintence within international companies and organization.
  • Three years of more of Application Hosting and maintenance experience within a complex environment.
  • Significant experience of managing large teams of staff with somewhat varied areas of expertise.
  • Has managed large projects requiring innovative recommendations and approaches.
  • Has built strong relationships with internal and external partners to identify key business issues and identify new/improved IT solutions and services.
  • Has aligned IT strategies with business strategies and requirements.
  • Has shown to be consistent and agile during critical situations and has an understanding on how to support emergency response operations.
  • Has shown to be open to challenges and to share experience and knowledge with team members and colleagues.
  • Has successfully managed complex IT infrastructure, including the installation and testing of new hardware for improving systems performance at HQ and field.
  • Has led the design and successful implementation of ITIL service management systems and protocols for handling customer requests and achieving service excellence.

Technical Skills & Knowledge:

  • Extensive experience managing application support for corporate services in a large international organization.
  • Strong leadership, ability to lead a highly effective team coupled with project and programme management skills.
  • Sound experience in IT Operations, both in offices and sub-offices.
  • Excellent skills in DevSecOps and hosting, including on-premises, cloud computing and hybrid environments: AWS, Azure, Openshift are essential, knowledge of other platforms is desirable.
  • Thorough understanding of Cybersecurity principles applied to large corporate systems.
  • Sound knowledge of IT Support processes. ITIL Fundamentals is required, ITIL Design, Transition and Operations, Project Management and COBIT are highly desirable.
  • IT Security and Auditing certifications are highly desirable.
  • Solid soft skills, tact and maturity, ability to interact with other IT teams and with business counterparts.
  • Very good reporting skills.
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy.

Language: Fluency in oral and written English with an intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages).


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