The home-improvement retail giant was ahead of the game in consolidating datacentres to support its range of brands that includes B&Q and Screwfix and has long been highly regarded for its web activities helping to support a profitable business with turnover of over £10bn.

The Kingfisher IT Services group-wide function provides shared services and simplified processes and systems, CIO Jean-Jacques Van Oosten says the company now has a platform for innovation under the governance regime of an IT Executive Board chaired by an executive director.

That innovation is likely to come from support for multi-channel retailing, home installation services and a revamped supply chain. Of course, multi-channel is the recipe every retailer knows will deliver results but not everybody succeeds. Kingfisher would appear to be doing well, however, with group sales up [] following the completion of integration between and Screwfix. A reserve-and-collect service is also up and running.

Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said in a statement:

"Our more unified management approach across the Group is really starting to deliver, enabling is to strengthen the business for the longer term whilst also managing our margins, costs and cash effectively."

In its 2008/9 report, Kingfisher outlined its IT strategy:

"We have embarked on a programme to ensure that we focus our IT resources on a combination of making the necessary investment to maintain or extend the useful lives of our existing technologies and developing solutions that directly support revenue generative opportunities. Where possible, we are also seeking to eliminate complex or heavily bespoke technologies that may hold back new and innovative customer offers."