Cambridge success story ARM Holdings is listed on both the London FTSE and US NASDAQ stock exchanges. The company, headquartered in University city Cambridge is multinational and best known for its semiconductor designs, although it does have the RealView and KEIL software development tools in its stable too. ARM was founded as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple and VLSI Technology and remains a key supplier of mobile phone chips.
IT Leader: Richard Harris, CIO
In role since: Since November 2010, has been the CIO of Rolls Royce previously
Reporting line: Reports to the COO Graham Budd
Board level seat: No
IT budget: I describes it as sufficient as IT is very important to the company. The technology needs to grow at least the same rate as investment. In terms of company turnover it’s an appropriate amount for a high tech company in a big eco system
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 2000 staff at least one log in for each member, has at least 2500 screens
Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 100 per cent, the company is part of an ‘eco system’ of companies who employ 10,000s of people who also all rely on IT
IT staff currently employed: About 2000 people employed by ARM and 500 others
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 80 per cent in house 20 per cent outsourced
IT management team and reporting structure: Team consists of Business Relationship Manager, Director of Engineering IT, Director of Customer Systems, Director of Employee Information, Director of IT Infrastructure, Director of IT Services, Director of IT Operations, Director of Information Management and Head of IT Asia Pacific.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: The staff is given a choice over what kind of platform they believe they can use the most effectively for example engineers tend to use Linex.
This gives employees a lot of flexibility with what platform they use, which sometimes proves to be a bit of a challenge to monitor, but have people who can adapt quickly.
Primary technology suppliers: Suppliers are part of an eco system, which function more like partners than suppliers- has a relationship with them. HP provide high performance computing, Cisco for networking and a range of open source providers. Use main suppliers like SAP and Oracle for back office. They also develop their own technology and tools and pilot them themselves.
Significant strategic technology deals been struck in the last 12 months: Keen to develop partnerships, especially with HP and looking at expanding it into a long term deal. Have done a recent deal with Oracle.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year: To remain one step ahead of the rest of the organisation. To help the IT team be pro-active and testing how responsive they are and helping them to be more customer focused. Helping the IT team work with the business to see where it could go in the future and stay one step ahead. An example of this is that ARM designs of microchips are used by all tablets and smart phones, which are provided to staff to test. Everyone in the company is provided with ARM powered technology.
Technologies considered by the leader to offer their organisation potential: Cloud and virtualisation
How do you see technology transforming your organisation in the near future? Mobility is important for their employees so they can work in different environments and still access the data. To achieve this they are moving away from standardized IT and letting employee’s choose the way they work. Increasing high powered computing, which means they can test more products and quicker. The business model is vital to the partnership as every microchip gets them a royalty payment.