Thanks to a mixture of innovation and value, Tesco has become the company to catch in the UK supermarket wars of this decade, and has spread itself across the world to emulate its remarkable local success.

Hugely profitable and still growing, Tesco has used technology to underpin its voracious expansion strategy that has seen it branch out into a wide variety of products and services (clothing, electronics, financial services, insurance and wills among them) as well as covering more geographies, all accelerated with the ‘Tesco In A Box' template approach.

A pioneering push into internet shopping, virtual ISP offerings, music downloads, loyalty cards and targeted promotions built on business intelligence are among the more obvious strengths culled from IT investment but Tesco is a company with a highly integrated approach to technology spending. That has seen Tesco open pure-play dot-com facilities, [] build self-service till and use cameras to reduce queues.

In 2008, Tesco signed a five-year communications and networking outsourcing deal with Cable and Wireless. More recently the company has been working on security with a tie-up with Wipro to replace legacy systems with Fortinet's Fortigate systems protecting data assets in Tesco's Hindustan Services Centre, home of the giant's global IT.

Another major push has been into server virtualisation with Citrix's XenServer software being deployed [] to virtualise 1500 servers.

Suport for the network of stores is now provided by Fujitsu services.

Former CIO Colin Cobain took a non-executive position at HMRC early this year.