ARM Holdings is a Cambridge-based company which specialises in semiconductor and software design and is the world’s leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) with a major role in the development of new digital products. The company is best known for producing ARM-based chips for mobile phones and software development tools under the names Keil and RealView.
ARM chips are installed in devices such as the Apple iPod, iPad, digital cameras, mobile phones, Nintendo DS’s and many GPS navigation systems. ARM Holdings work with around 250 companies and have deployed 800 processor licenses to date. The company was formed from a merger between Apple, Acorn Computers and VLSI technology.
The company employs 2,500 people in the UK and has design centres all over the world including Taiwan, US, Japan and China. The company’s latest financial report showed that they had amassed pre-tax profits of £66.5 million from the last quarter, with over two billion chips being shipped during the same period. The company’s 32-bit instruction architecture for computers is the most widely-used in terms of numbers produced. The company works in partnership with University of Michigan to research into sustainable and low energy computing. ARM Holdings is part of the Silicon Ven cluster of technology companies based in Cambridge, which is has grown to become one of the most important technology centres in Europe.
IT leader: Richard Harris, CIO.
In role since: November 2010.
Reporting line: COO.
How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Quarterly.
Board level seat: Have a seat on the IT committee, the operations committee and the compliance committee.
IT budget: The IT operational spend compared to company turnover as a percentage is over 5%.
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 2,500, everyone on the work force has log on.
IT staff currently employed: 100 established heads.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: Half and half.
IT management team and reporting structure: Have eight direct reports, three business relationship manager, one infrastructure director, one information management director, one services director, one finance director, one Asia Pacific director.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: High performance computing cluster, ARM eco system which has almost 1,000 partners and customers which design further systems and tablets. The technology delivers intellectual property through the company’s eco system. The business systems are mainly standard ERP.
Primary technology suppliers: HP are main suppliers, IBM, platform, Microsoft, Arista, Mega- compliance system
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: High performance cluster with HP, LSF with IBM, Mega, upgraded SAP to ECC6, Arista.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: About 50% externally.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: High performance computer and new cluster hosts the data and we have built a new data centre, which has won an award. The first ARM-powered servers are coming into market.
Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes and have won the European award for the data centre.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: The lower power aim - Project Diamond - is an approach to sustainability and business continuity management. They are moving from the information splatter to an ordered information system for engineers.
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: Have a bring your own device programme - everyone has been given an iPad and people have the freedom to bring in their own devices. This has allowed people to become more productive as tablets are much quicker and more mobile than PCs.
Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: A strategy where the use of consumer technology is dependent on the clients they are dealing with e.g. use Samsung technology when meeting with or working for Samsung.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: ARM are focusing on engineering tools, starting to invest in Mega, Jive for social media as the whole ARM ecosystem is driven by social media.
Transformational inspiration sources: Business colleagues including business operations, engineering and eco system partners as I work with some of the bets brains in the business.