Thetrainline.com operates as a retailer; an e-commerce provider through its white label technology to the train operating companies and as a business-to-business supplier to travel management companies and direct to business clients through a terminal offering.
“It is a regulated industry that is nearer to financial services than retail,” CIO David Jack says of the complexity of operating across the three business routes of Thetrainline.com. “It is a settlement system for our TOC and B2B clients. But as a retail company we also have to have fraud control.”
IT leader: David Jack, CIO.
In role since: January 2009.
Reporting line: CEO.
Board level seat: Yes.
IT budget: Technology is in the heart of this business and the technology team is a significant portion of the opex and capex of the company.
IT staff currently employed: There are 200 people in the technology team.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: Split roughly 50/50.
IT management team and reporting structure: Jack splits the IT operation into two distinct teams; IS and Governance. IS operates the systems, data centre, development, business analysis, quality assurance and testing. Governance is responsible for portfolio management and looking at what the organisation will do and how with technology. The governance team also deals with the TOC clients.
Primary technology suppliers: Oracle, Capgemini, IBM, Thoughtworks.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Oracle to implement its Exadata system as part of an information security programme.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: We have upgraded the software platform and in the second year virtualised everything and in this the third year we are in the final stages of completing PCI accreditation as a Tier 1 retailer at the most stringent level. To achieve this over a full year we run a project to ensure all the customer care data is secure. That has been tough, but it has driven structural levels of security.
Our software and hardware platforms are not profligate, but it’s always ahead of us and it’s a great place to be. In three years we have moved to an entirely new platform.
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: We have implemented full token authentication so all the credit card data is placed to a token.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Mobile for us is really exciting. Every CIO says it’s important, we demonstrate that it’s important as so many people use it all the time. We have two million mobile users and expect Windows 8 to increase the uptake. On our mobile offering travel is just three clicks and that is transformational if people do that rather than jump in their car. We are beginning to transform the customer experience.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: The technology nirvana is near field communications (NFC) as consumers will be able to walk through a gate as the ticket has been delivered on to their mobile device.