Boots the Chemist has a presence on the vast majority of the UK\u2019s high streets. As an organisation its public face is akin to Radio 4: timeless and giving a comforting sense of stability.\nBut like all successful organisations, Boots has, at all times, been successfully transforming itself to meet the needs of its customers and a changing business landscape, while also remaining true to its traditions.\nA wealth of change is going through the organisation at present and as ever, the CIO is at the heart of this change. Andy Haywood is IT director of Boots in the UK and met CIO at one of the pharmacist\u2019s key stores on the outskirts of the beautiful city of York.\n\u201cBoots is unique for its mix of retail and pharmacy,\u201d says Haywood. He cuts a lithe figure, almost like a marathon runner in appearance, and looks relaxed in both the training room in which we talk and on the shop floor which, after all, represents the front line of his business.\n\u201cRetail is very tough and in the UK it is world class and the competition is good for Boots and it is good for us in IT. The spread of the business means that most retailers are a type of competitor.\n\u201cIn the UK Boots has 2500 stores, the head office and a significant supply chain,\u201d Haywood says of the three critical pillars of the business.\nHaywood is excited about the central role which technology and he are playing at Boots as the company undergoes a three-year transformation plan.\n\u201cTechnology is being seen as an integral part of what we do. The brilliant thing about the setup is that I report to the Transformation Executive Director and he\u2019s on the UK executive board.\n\u201cTransformation is a three-year plan, driven by technology. The investment is very very significant, and higher than any previous investment cycle. We\u2019ve got the biggest transformation agenda in UK retail,\u201d he explains. Supply chain, multi-channel retail and the back office are all seeing their technology renewed.\n\u201cWe are just starting year two of a three-year plan. In the next three months we will look at the next three-year plan. In the back office we are looking at releasing the legacy spaghetti that most retailers have with a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system across retail and pharmacy.\n\u201cWe have to have a scalable infrastructure back in the support office. If we can get that right the speed from which we deliver products, the supply chain efficiencies that we can drive mean that we can then get the right products to the customers.