British-based retailer Marks & Spencer has around 703 stores in the UK. Darrell Stein, IT director for Marks & Spencer and has previously worked for Ernst & Young, Vodafone and Mars. Stein has implemented a plan to move the M&S e-commerce side of the business away from the Amazon web platform they currently use to the department’s own e-commerce product. Stein has also initiated the move towards a mega-shed strategy and a single operation for the whole company, rather than one operation for food and one for the rest of the company’s merchandising.

The company has recently cuts its supply chain from distribution centres to stores, using JDA software to help manage the stock level of tis non-food merchandising. M&S is planning to use Allocation, Demand, Fulfilment and Size Scaling systems. Online sales are growing as a result the company have expanded its ‘Shop Your Way’ multi-channel ordering service and now have a mobile ordering service.

IT leader: Darrell Stein, IT Director.

In role since: 2006.

Reporting line: CFO.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Weekly.

Board level seat: Management Committee.

IT budget: £400 million, 1% (not including depreciation) of turnover.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 10,000 users.

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 15% of workforce.

IT staff currently employed: 400.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 1:2.

IT management team and reporting structure: Seven direct reports.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation:  ERP is a best of breed commercial apps, POS, Amazon Web Platform (being replaced).

Primary technology suppliers: TCS, Cognizant, Fujitsu, C&W, ComputaCenter.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Re-platform of M&S Multi-Channel business 30 components including IBM;  JDA for Allocation & Replenishment.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 25% (will reduce soon).

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Re-engineer Food Supply Chain.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Deliver Strategic Projects, reduce run costs,  increase innovation and bring software engineering in-house.

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: Major Revenue generating opportunities as use of mobile grows.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: BYOD plans in place, step by step approach.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: New Multichannel platform; a basket of new technologies are being piloted in our stores Beauty Makeover, Virtual rail, Outfit Builder.

Transformational inspiration sources: Anywhere, technology events; other retailers.