When David Lister joined information services company Reuters as CIO in 2005, he jumped into the middle of the company’s Fast Forward programme – a global initiative to simplify and standardise business processes. In IT terms that means reducing the number of vendor relationships and extending relationships with a small number of key suppliers, including Cisco, IBM, Oracle and Oracle-owned Siebel.

Lister arrived in the middle of another change. Reuters has started embedding its IT organisation into business units as a means of better aligning IT and the needs of internal customers. Overseeing those units will be the central IT organisation, which is divided into shared services and the information systems and technology group.

One of Lister’s biggest projects this year has been the completion of Fast Forward. This included rolling out one of the UK’s largest VoIP and IP television plug-and-play, broadcast TV-to-IP network distribution gateways. It can stream up to 60 digital satellite, terrestrial and internal television channels across a converged voice and data network.

While Reuters is upgrading some networks, it has also recently completed outsourcing the company’s WAN to BT in a deal worth around $3 billion over eight years. During 2005, the company also rolled out a new remote access system from mobile connectivity vendor iPass, which manages internet connections from remote workers, mainly journalists in the field.