Think Vodafone and many naturally think of mobile telecommunications, but just as Vodafone has outgrown an office above a curry shop in Newbury to take over an entire campus on the outskirts of the Berkshire town, telecommunications can no longer be divided into mobile and fixed.
Communications sprawls across enterprises, lives and nations and its future growth is exponential, and so Vodafone is today a global leader in communications, if best known for non-fixed-line services.
IT leader: Albert Hitchcock, Group CIO.
In role since: January 2007.
Reporting line: Group CTO.
How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Every few weeks.
Board level seat: Yes.
IT budget: £2 billion per annum; 4.5% of operational spend.
IT staff currently employed: 6,000.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 25% in-house, 75% outsource.
IT management team and reporting structure: Directors of Application development and deployment, IT Infrastructure, CISO, IT Transformation, IT Governance.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: SAP ERP, Amdocs, Oracle - BSS.
Primary technology suppliers: Most Tier 1 suppliers: IBM, HP, Oracle, Accenture, Wipro, Infosys, SAP, Amdocs, Symantec, Lenovo, EMC.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Many including Oracle and Lenovo.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 20%.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Single Instance SAP environment across the whole company covering Finance, HR and Supply Chain across all local markets, group functions and shared service centres. It is one of the world’s largest single Instance implementations with 100,000 employee log-ins and has transformed our global business.
Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Global Customer experience programme.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Customer Experience Transformation and Operational Efficiency.
Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: Hugely with BYOD, tablets and smartphones transforming the way we conduct business.
Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: We don’t have shadow IT because IT is at the core of our operations. As we are the world’s largest mobile Telco the use of our own technology and mobility is at the core of our strategy hence we engage regularly with the CEO and executive team on policy and selection of technology providers and the associated governance and controls surrounding the right usage of employees.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: Many including data analytics, cloud-based infrastructure and apps, mobile devices, app Stores, security, cross channel integration, SOA.
Transformational inspiration sources: Typically outside the telco industry, examples include Google, Apple, Internet companies, start-ups and ventures.