by Mark Chillingworth

A look back at 2011 for CIOs

Dec 14, 20115 mins
IT Strategy

As is traditional at this time of year we take a look back at 2011 and what it has done for the CIO sphere.
January– Joe Harley was announced as the new CIO for the government alongside his role as CIO for the Department of Work and Pensions. 
Harley replaced John Suffolk as government CIO and perhaps demonstrated the Coalition government’s desire to keep costs down by job sharing.
While Harley got some extra work, formerITV CIO Richard Cross got a new job as CIO at engineering and construction giants Arup Richard Cross the former CIO of broadcaster ITV has taken on the role of Group CIO at civil engineering leaders Arup. Cross had done six years with commercial TV broadcaster ITV during one of the hardest periods of its history. Although the move seemed radical, Cross has a heritage in logistics and professional services, which share a lot in common with Arup’s needs.
February– Ex-CEO of HP Mark Hurd settled his dispute with the vendor that had a troubled 2011 and got through two leaders before autumn, or Fall as the Americans aptly put it if you are the head of HP.
HP paid Hurd $23.9 million in compensation following his sudden resignation in August 2009. Hurd is now with Oracle.
Major food manufacturer Premier Foods announced that its focus in 2011 would be to cut back office costs. A new management structure was introduced to bring brands together and consolidate operations.
Parent company to British GasCentrica helped HP out though by signing a £247 million private cloud deal for seven years. HP took over the running of two Centrica datacentres and the provision of services from India.
March– Despite the continuing economic gloom throughout the year consultants Capgemini announced a major recruitment drive. The French owned firm said it would be recruiting 1000 staff in 2011 and looking for transformational and social media leaders.
Morrisonswas the Johnny-come-lately to online supermarket retailing, a market dominated by Sainsbury and Tesco as well as online only Ocado. Morrisons acquired FreshDirect for £32 million in the US and plans a London operation.
March also saw Intel begin shilling its Celeron processor for laptops using the Sandy Bridge architecture.The dual-core Celeron B810 processor runs at a speed of 1.6GHz, includes 2MB of cache and draws up to 35 watts of power. The chip is priced at $86 in theUS when purchased in quantities of 1,000.
April– Bakers Warburtons announced that Jeremy Butterfield will replace Damian Ghee as IT head as Ghee took on an operational role.
Jeremy Butterfieldis to take the place left by Damien Ghee as IT director at the bread brand.
Another leading northern company the Co-operative Group announced the plans for its new datacentre. Sudlows won the deal to build the new green datacentre for the new Cooperative HQ being built in Manchester.
May–  Major financial services provider Aviva announced the internal promotion of Cathryn Riley as CIO replacing Tony Redshaw who went off to be IT head at American Express. Riley has been with Aviva since 1996 in a series of senior roles.
Microsoft acquired Skypeafter a series of rumours speculated on the deal. Microsoft paid out 48.5 billion for the voice and video communications company and said it would include Skype technology into its products such as Xbox Live and Outlook.
June– Winning praise from a wide variety of CIO and IT market watchers the Co-operative Group announced a £9 million apprenticeship scheme that will deliver 2000 jobs in three years.
While chaos continued with the IT at the Department of Health as CIO Christine Connelly announced she was leaving. This added to the woes of the NHS National Programme for IT which had already lost two suppliers – Accenture and Fujitsu – and relationships with BT and CSC were not great.
July– The nation was captured by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch being brought down a peg or two in a Parliamentary inquest into the mobile phone hacking carried out  by staff at the Australian’s newspapers, especially the News of the World. The scandal exposed the too close relationships between pillars of society such as the police and political parties and Murdoch.
August– In a battle of giants supermarket chain Tesco got an eight year extension deal with Microsoft that included an unlimited number of licences for the retailer. New CIO Mike McNamara told CIO UK that the deal is an “enterprise subscription agreement”, while those close to Microsoft say the deal was painful to negotiate for the vendor. 
Industry observers though point to the deal demonstrating vendors entering a new service led relationship with their customers.
August was also marked by riotson the streets of London, Manchester, Birmingham and Croydon with mobile devices vendor BlackBerry being cited as the device of choice amongst the youths destroying shops and livelihoods.
Also in August our columnist Mike Lynch, the founder of UK software firm Autonomy led the deal to sell the listed company to HP for £6.7 billion.
September– The government finally killed off the NHS National Programme for IT, a £12 billion scheme that the last government set up and the current government believes is not fit for its purpose. CIOs found the national standard did not fit local needs, but did gain some useful technology from the nine year programme.
October– That National Audit Office found that just two government CIOs sit on the board of their organizations and concluded that government CIOs are under-valued.
Steve Jobs,the influential leader of vendor and gadget maker Apple, lost his battle with cancer. He inspired many CIOs and technology leaders.
November– Less than a year into his role as Government CIO Joe Harley announced he would be retiring from his roles as DWP and government CIO in the spring of 2012.
While across the road at HMRC claimed its 13 machine programme had created cost savings of 81 per cent. The SAP programme is seeing the department cuts its 900 applications down to 150.
December– Building Society Nationwide announced its £10m internal social network, which is part of its £700m transformation project.