European Tyres Enterprise IT Director, David Willock spoke to CIO UK at the CIO UK 100 2018 event. Recognised by the panel for placing IT at the heart of the business and creating a single tech organisation for the company, he discussed the rapid pace of work within his fairly new role. 

"So I joined the business six months ago and during that time it's been pretty hectic," he explained. "We've now got a five-year strategy which is all about transforming practically every part of the business. Starting with the infrastructure, there are a whole range of things we need to do - such as network, hardware etc."

"We also run a big retail business. We have a number of outlets - over 720 Kwik Fits. So what we need to do is improve the technology that we have in those outlets. Additionally, we run a wholesaling business and some of the technology there is quite old so we’re looking to transform the applications landscape. So a huge amount of activity really in the next two to three years."

He added that he and his team are examining the role emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and automation could play in improving efficiencies.

"We are so excited about some of the new technologies, particularly artificial intelligence," he said. "We think in our supply chain especially, there are some opportunities there. In fact, only today we were looking at how we automate some of the processes in that part of the business. So we think there are opportunities but what we don't want to do is to rush into it too quickly really it's about getting ourselves to a good level of infrastructure and then we can build on it."

Willock also commented on the CIO UK 100 event.

"I'm so proud to be a part of the CIO 100," he said. "It never ceases to amaze me how much synergy there is across the industries in terms of the technologies we’re looking to work with. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it - it's been a great evening and thank you for inviting me."