The BBC remains popular and a well-known broadcasting organisation across the world with extensive subsidiaries such as BBC Worldwide and BBC Australia. It distributes content via radio, television and the internet. As a public service organisation funded by the licence fee, the organisation has a Royal charter which sets out the public purposes of the BBC. The BBC makes a large proportion of its revenue through the licence fee. As well as being funded by the public it also sells and distributes the rights to its content internationally. Over the last few years the BBC has also generated revenue from selling television formats of shows such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ to America.
The BBC employs around 30,000 staff across all its different branches, which include the BBC Orchestra, the media tracking agency BBC Monitoring and its interactive television channels. Last year the commercial side of the BBC made £160 million in profit through selling popular programmes such as Doctor Who and Sherlock directly and programme formats to be remade. The BBC constantly delivers radio and television broadcast services and therefore requires the company’s technology system to help maintain it.
CTO, John Linwood has previously worked at Yahoo! and Microsoft before joining the BBC. He is responsible for managing the broadcasting and technology infrastructure of all the BBC’s output.
IT leader: John Linwood, CTO.
In role since: 2009.
Reporting line: COO.
How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Weekly.
Board level seat: On the Leadership Board, not on the Executive board and Future Media and Technology Group Board.
IT budget: £550 million per year.
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 30,000 users.
Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 100%.
IT staff currently employed: 1,200.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 50/50.
IT management team and reporting structure: 12 direct reports covering Technology Delivery, IT, Technology Operations, Software and Systems Development, Architecture, Supplier Management & Service Assurance, Distribution, Information and Archives, Technology Infrastructure projects.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: We have £600 million of technology in the BBC, I can’t really select one.
Primary technology suppliers: Atos, Arqiva, Cable & Wireless, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Red Bee Media.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Atos for technology exit of Television Centre, Microsoft EA for Unified Communications.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: Around 5%.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Deployment of Digital Media Archive allowing thousands of users in BBC to search and access the BBC’s media archives and metadata. Drives significant cost saving and enhanced flexibility.
Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes on cost and transformation.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: BBC Delivering Quality First – major transformation. Technology role is to enable the BBC to become more agile, nimble and effective.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Deliver the technology to help the BBC continue to make and deliver great content to our audiences.
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: Our policy is to allow staff to use social networking in the workplace provided that confidential information is not shared, it helps with effective communications. The policy on own devices is under development. Today, staff can get email through their own devices. In the coming year we will roll out access for more corporate systems to personal devices.
Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Yes we do have a plan in place and are actively educating staff on policies and risks while also trying to ensure that technology adoption (including BYOD) is frictionless.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: Virtualisation, cloud, unified communications, BYOD.
Transformational inspiration sources: Peers, journals, web, press, vendors, research companies, internal R&D.