Liam Maxwell, who was deputy government chief information officer, has been named the first ever government chief technology officer.

In a reshuffling of the government’s IT leaders, Maxwell, who has been pushing for small and medium enterprises to get access to the NHS IT market, and for more use of open source and open data, will support a new network of departmental ‘digital leaders.’

The digital leaders network was established early this year. The leaders are supposed identify the technologies required to drive the creation of new digitally delivered public services across government.

Cabinet Office chief operating officer Stephen Kelly said: “Working together, Liam, government chief information officer Andy Nelson, the chief technology officers and digital leaders will form a powerful combination to achieve the transition to Digital by Default.”

Maxwell was brought into the Cabinet Office in June 2011 to advise the government on new ideas for its use of technology.

He was appointed deputy government chief information officer in April 2012 and has spent much of his time focusing how government departments can better spend their IT budgets.

At EHI Live 2012, he argued that open data will drive greater interoperability, which works to open up the market.

“Open data is absolutely fundamental to what this government is doing and what the health service is doing,” he told the attendees at the conference.

He also cited the new Government Digital Service – a comprehensive digital approach to public services – as an enticement for people from the better-paid commercial sector to come “knocking on the door.”