In the last 12 months Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has doubled production, manufacturing in excess of 300,000 vehicles from three plants, with 80 per cent of that product heading overseas. Profit before tax in 2010/11 was £1.5 billion and since India’s Tata took control of the company in 2008 the car maker has been recruiting, adding much-needed manufacturing jobs to the national economy.

CIO Jeremy Vincent talks of Jaguar Land Rover with the sort of passion its cars foster from enthusiasts as he explains how JLR has grown to offer nine different product lines and has ambitions to offer 14 by 2015.

“We are now on an aggressive and ambitious growth strategy to double our vehicle volumes to 850,000,” he says. The Range Rover Evoque launched last year will be joined by a recently announced F-Type Jaguar sports car as well as all-wheel-drive versions of the XJ and XF saloons. Land Rover will also increase the number of two-wheel-drive vehicles it offers.

Jaguar Land Rover manufacturers luxury cars and has around 17,000 UK employees working among other areas in design, manufacturing and sales.

Jaguar Land Rover adopted Google Apps email during its split from previous owners Ford. JLR has also introduced another Catalyst employee performance monitoring tool. Other recent IT developments include the formation of a modular data centre in the Solihull manufacturing plant. The centre is being designed by outsourcing firm Colt and will contain all of Jaguar Land Rover’s on site IT facilities.

The judging panel were impressed with the innovation that Vincent has been driving through this car manufacturer. Richard Sykes remarked that Vincent’s innovations were "close to the market", while others were impressed with the speed and lightness the Google adoption gave to Jaguar Land Rover.

Mike Altendorf said: "You really have to recognise his risk-taking at JLR and willingness to innovate with Google Apps."

IT leader: Jeremy Vincent, CIO.

In role since: Four years.

Reporting line: CEO.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Often, all the time as I sit on his main board.

Board level seat: Yes.

IT budget: This fiscal year £310 million, including Zero base operations, growth, IT tactical investment, Business Tactical investment, Strategic Programmes. The IT operational spend compared to company turnover as a percentage is approximately 2.0%.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Over 25,000 users.

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 100% of salaried workers, but many more hourly paid employees in manufacturing shift work who do not have accounts.

IT staff currently employed: Approximately 200 full time employees primarily in management and service delivery plus 200 permanent agency staff also primarily in service delivery.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 150 offshored and outsourced staff in addition to above with approx 200 purchased service staff on contracts for various items.

IT management team and reporting structure:

  • 2 Strategic Programme Directors.
  • 1 Chief Technology Officer.
  • 1 Projects and Programmes Portfolio Director.
  • 1 Business Relationship Director.
  • 1 Service Delivery Director.
  • 1 Country IT Director for North America.
  • 1 Country IT Director for China.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: SAP for core ERP, BI and CRM. Dassault Systeme for product development and PLM management.

Primary technology suppliers: IBM, TTL, Sis, TCS, Accenture, KPMG; MS, Google, Terradata, HP, VMware.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: SAP, Teradata, TCS, Accenture, HP, VMware.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: Global Mail system, Global HR performance management system. These are public cloud solutions. We have other private cloud solutions, which in my opinion are not really cloud solutions.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Recent move from an importer to wholly owned business in China. Driving improved customer and dealer experience and dramatic volume sales growth in that country. Enabled by rapid deployment of SAP based NSC in a box solution.

Migrated all corporate finance applications to SAP. Vastly simplified process complexity and improved reporting.

Deployed SAP to other smaller markets replacing legacy fragmentation (same as China - SAP - NSC in a box - standard solution).

First phase of Busines Analytics live for Quality Analysis and Warranty Analysis.

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: President of India Operations tasked with defining and delivering a business strategy for India

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Deliver the strategic business transformation programme for which £125m investment is planned.

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: Little as of yet, we allow secure mail to an employee’s own mobile device.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Shadow IT is being mopped up as we go. I have an explicit programme called CUMULS looking into the leverage of virtualised desktop to enable BYOD. Project in pilot phase at moment.

Technologies are being considered to enable transformation: We are slowly reducing our fragmented technology base by devising and building enterprise scalable architectures across the aboard whilst standardising on of a smaller number of long term strategic technologies like SAP, VMware, Microsoft and Google.

Transformational inspiration sources: Sounds arrogant, but I just know how a truly global/international business with complex multi-site inter-dependent supply chains needs to operate to win in the market place.

I constantly put my mind in the mind of our customers and my senior level stakeholders and ask how would they think? What would I want? How would I want things to be? I know how to architect enterprise scalable solutions which keeps me ahead of the demand curve.