2010 kicked off with the public sector already preparing for changing economic landscape and a forthcoming election. I had the opportunity to interview the CIOs of the Arts Council and British Waterways, two organs of the state with very different funding models, but clear ideas about how IT can improve the organisation and drive efficiencies.
We also welcomed a thought provoking article on the development of Best Practice by Carl Bate and Rob Price at Atos Consulting.
Adam Gerrard, CIO of Avis car hire braved freezing conditions at the Heathrow depot of the rental firm to be a future cover star for 2010. While the CTO of the Department of Work and Pensions James Gardner described how he’s adapted crowd-sourcing to develop ideas at the Whitehall department. My interview of the month was with Damien Ghee of bread bakers Wharburtons. The bakers have had a successful SAP implementation and the company continues to grow, or should that be rise!
Jerry Fishenden used his personal insights to government IT to call for a more holistic IT view and our Editor in Chief went out to sample the goods of Whitbread, who are now no longer a beer brewing firm and instead operate the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee brands, but still the CIO didn’t mind the sadness Martin Veitch may have exhibited.
April was a month of UK born heavy hitting CIOs as we interviewed Myron Hrycyk of Severn Trent Waterand Robin Johnson CIO at computer manufacturing giant Dell. Both are real strategic business leaders. Hrycyk was mid-way through a major SAP implementation and moving the company to a new HQ when we met him.
Adam Gerrard graced the cover when we finally found a slot for him in our busy print schedule – many of our profiles appear online first – and he outlined the mainframe basis for computing at Avis. Joining the increasing ranks of CIOs who put pen to paper and write for CIO David Henderson at A&N Media told the IT vendor community in his own words that they are just not listening or performing.
As the world looked for a new or better way of operating its corporations in the wake of the banking led financial crisis The Co-operative Group has been growing and growing and at the same time, it has retained a strong ethical character. As a result I headed up to Manchester to meet The Co-operative Group’s CIO Ian Dyson, who like his organisation does things differently and more ethically with a stance against outsourcing. This was one of the real highlight interviews of the year for me. Dyson is a really interesting man with a really interesting organisation he clearly understood, oh and I developed a soft spot for Manchester in my short stay.
The last issue of CIO magazine to be edited by Martin Veitch, it wasn’t just his editorial team that will miss his wit, guidance and encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket, Bob Dylan, football and IT, local landlords around the CIO office are also counting the cost. Martin went out in style with one of our most enticing covers, the CIO of haulage and logistics experts Eddie Stobarts Vince Sparks on the company and its long haul ambitions.
Bill Brindle, CIO at corporate travel firm Hogg Robinson bent his mind to the IT challenges mobile presents to CIOs in a well received article and I got to interview Andrew Newton on being a CIO for a specialist house builder.
Probably the biggest month of change CIO UK has seen in a few years as it put on its inaugural CIO Summit and I moved over from being editor of the online title to Editor in Chief, if I’d had time I’d have had a tear in my eye!
The Summit was a resounding success. With no heritage in this type event we decided to do something different and bar analysts from speaking or attending and no vendors too. The result, a full day of CIOs able to speak freely to CIOs and some great debates were had as a result. Highlights for me were Jora Gill of Standard & Poor’s, Jeremy Vincent of Jaguar LandRover and Paul Coby of British Airways.
Outspoken Westminster City Council CIO David Wildegraced the cover and the Summit stage and put the record straight about what cuts can and should be made to public sector IT.
The consumer world was obsessed with the iPad from the moment it landed, but Jeff Smith CIO at insurance firm Torus proved there is a business case for it – board room meetings. Also in the insurance sector, Ian Cohen has been shaking up Jardine Lloyd Thompson and outsourcers, and as ever he had time to pontificate on football, England and his beloved Chelsea.
Gatwick airportbegan 2010 as an independent organisation for the first time in its history with its first ever CIO Stuart Birrell. The Scotsman has a mammoth task splitting the IT away from BAA and as we discovered is more than up to the task.
Following the public sector spending review, we also interview the IT leaders at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the London Fire Brigadeon how they will do more with less.
Our first double header, two CIOs in one interview as John Bovill and Peter Mila of fashion houses Aurora Fashions and Thomas Pink respectively discussed their unofficial partnership in developing IT for a multi-channel consumer world. Also discussing e-commerce was the IT leader of Oddbins.