Telefonica Group is a broadband and telecommunications operator in 25 countries and serves around 331.8 million customers worldwide.

The judging panel agreed that the scale of transformation planned and being driven by Jordan was impressive and rooted in good business sense when considering the shared service model. All felt that Jordan’s career has prepared him for this and that it is a testament to the role of the CIO in the UK economy that he has progressed to the top role at Telefonica.

Many believed he may be a one to watch over the coming years as the transformations at Telefonica begin to really change the way the company operates, removes its legacy and reduces its debt.

Rorie Devine said: "There are not many UK CIOs with such a global responsibility."

Ian Alderton said: "It's very impressive to be running the global infrastructure which is such a positive story."

Mark Chillingworth said: "Running a business within a business and the CIO role makes him a champion for the UK CIO community."

"I think this is the opening up of a digital economy, and every business is wrestling with that," says Phil Jordan, Group CIO for Telefonica, the worldwide telecommunications company. On a cold and misty day in Madrid, the Spanish company's British CIO describes how technological, social and economic events are reshaping one of the foremost communications companies in the world.

“We are one of the world’s largest communications providers as a fixed and mobile service provider. We have operations throughout Europe and Latin America,” Jordan explains of the business that encapsulates brands including Movistar and O2.

"New growth is coming from digital and data services, so Telefonica is now about enabling customers to use connectivity services and to help the digitisation of other industries. The level of maturity and therefore organic growth is market- and region-specific and we have a broad spectrum of businesses at different points of maturity and with different economic conditions."

“It is starting to make people realise that IT is so important to the evolution of the business. In my time the level of understanding of what IT can do for your business has been transformed.

"The great thing about this macroeconomic climate is it's causing people to embrace change."

"Being a Spanish business has been really tough in 2012. There is a lot of focus on our debt and we do have a lot of debt position from a period of large-scale M&A activity. We have done a major job regaining financial flexibility through debt reduction, using our global scale to leverage debt and operational performance," he says.

From the 1990s to the 2006 acquisition of O2 and recent deals in Germany, Israel and China, Telefonica has been on an aggressive buying spree increasing the size of its telecommunications footprint.

"We are benefiting from the decision to invest in Latin America. The telecommunications market saturation you see in Europe is not the same in Latin America and our core products and Digital are growing very fast in that region," Jordan says.

But Jordan and Telefonica don’t treat Latin America like their Spanish forefathers as an Eldorado that will furnish gold on the mother nation.

Jordan has two roles at Telefonica, as well as being Group CIO he’s CEO of the shared service business that centralises many back office operations for the group. He has 1000 people providing corporate facilities management, security, architecture, ERP, email and datacentre services to 20 countries.

“It is very much defined by things that we can do once. We will move more things into the shared service if it is efficient to do so.

"A lot of our front office should be local as the customers are local but, as parts of our business mature, we will identify the bits that are commodity and move to the shared service for efficiency. That reduces the run costs so we can invest in growing the business with new digital services," he says.

"What we are trying to do is get the operating model consistent so that the commodity model is common. But I'm not a slave to a model. Standards and standardisation are vital as the key that defines reusable IT but you must always think global and act local, because what is true of Panama is not true for the UK, Brazil or Spain.

"Standards are not difficult to create and implement and I do believe they are the number one tool we have for common ways of working," he says. A common ERP and email is already in existence in most Telefonica businesses.

IT leader: Phil Jordan, Group CIO & CEO of Telefonica Global Technology (TGT – A shared Services IT Company inside Telefonica.

In role since: One year as CIO for O2 UK and Group CIO for Telefonica since September 2011.

Reporting line: Report into the Group Board into effectively the Chief Operating Officer (Head of Global Resources).

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Ad Hoc and approximately twice a month, planned.

Board level seat: Global Resources Board and as CEO of TGT.

IT budget: €2.8 billion.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 150,000.

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 65%.

IT staff currently employed: 6000.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 50/50.

IT management team and reporting structure:

  • CIO for Latin America (with the LatAM Country CIOs on a dotted line).

  • Global Director for Applications and Architecture.

  • Global Director of Production and Infrastructure.

  • Global Director for Management and Transformation of TGT.

  • CIO for Telefonica Digital and dotted line relationship with all European CIOs.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Billing, CRM, Online, ERP, Revenue Assurance, OSS.

Primary technology suppliers: Specifically IBM, Oracle, HP, Accenture, TCS.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months:

  • Shared Services Infrastructure Partnership with TCS.

  • Major Multivendor Support Deals with HP.

  • Microsoft Global Deal.

  • Major deals with IBM, Oracle etc..

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 10%.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Many Transformation Projects in Progress. Global SAP in 20 countries implemented, Online Transformation in progress in many countries,  and Global Workplace with common capabilities.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Online Company / Digital Company "Beyond Connectivity" - The transformation of Telefonica from a traditional Telco to a Digital & Online Business.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year:

  • Delivery –  to continue to deliver excellent service quality that are customer demand and deserve.

  • Simplify – to simplify our business as an enabler for transformation and to drive efficiency.

  • Transform – to transform our business to win in the Digital World.

  • Grow – to innovate and enable growth in revenue from new services and products.

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: We have already implemented BYOD in some of our businesses in Europe as a vehicle for productivity improvements and as a proactive action to increase the internal fans of IT.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: We have already implemented the technology, the controls and the change process to bring this into our organisation. In the UK business alone, we have over 1000 of our staff on the BYOD journey that includes a range of capabilities including secure your own device to a full blown BYOD service.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: The right technologies at the right price and depending on the balance of function/risk/cost etc. We are also embracing emerging technologies to help us challenge and transform HTML5, Open Source, Cloud Services, BI technologies.

Transformational inspiration sources: Our Customers because we must look at every change we make in our business through their eyes – if we do that, the change will be material, meaningful and sustainable.