The Co-operative Group is a British consumer cooperative with a diverse range of retail businesses. It is co-operatively run and owned by its members. With over seven million members, it is the largest organisation of this type in the UK, with members having a say in how the business is run and how its social goals are achieved. The group comprises a family of businesses, including: Food, Financial Services, Pharmacy, Funeralcare, Legal Services and Online Electricals.

Former Boots IT director Andy Haywood has been Co-operative Group CIO since January 2012. Co-op's placement alongside John Lewis IT director Paul Coby, despite the different fortunes of the two companies, was the subject of a heated debate by the CIO 100 judges.

Only a fortnight after the CIO 100 judging panel convened, it was reported that Haywood was leaving the executive board with the Co-op's former finance director given the COO role overseeing IT and transformation delivery. Judge and Editor-in-Chief of CIO UK, Mark Chillingworth, described this a sad move at the mutual, where the strong ideas of Andy and his team could never lead to results with constant reshuffles and demotion of technology expertise at the top.

What the judges say:

“He’s operating during its worst period of history, yet putting in place a new structure that when the dust settles will enable it to move forwards. He’s ready to move fast when they call on him to make major changes,” Richard Sykes

“He is driving change when the business is not doing well and what I have seen there is that what Haywood is doing is very thorough,” Mike Altendorf

“None of the bad news that has come out of The Cooperative in the last 12 months is the result of the work Haywood and his team such as Jonathan Vardon and Michael Paulson are doing. If you look at their focus on digital and apprentices, they are doing all the right things in difficult times.
“It was clear on my last meeting with Haywood too that he has been very much part of the leadership trying to salvage the mess and that a CIO is there working through these issues has to be saluted,” Mark Chillingworth.

“He splits his budget by run and change, with change being the larger half, that is exactly it for transformation,” Adam Gerrard.

Jerry Fishenden warned, however, that's it's too early to really see how successful Haywood has been.

When did you start your current role?
January 2012

Have you completed an MBA?
Yes

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:
1. Peer group
2. Consultant
3. In-house
4. Vendors
5. Analyst

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
Group digital strategy. Put simply, leading the thinking, shaping and delivery of business and technology  across all business units within the co-operative. We are now at the end of phase 1 of a 3 phase 3-year strategy.

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
It will radically change the way we do business with our customers as well as transforming our membership proposition.

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
Provision of our digital factory with Accenture. One of the largest Windows 7 programmes in UK with SSC.
Microsoft EL. HP Data Centre transformation programme

Name your strategic technology suppliers?
Accenture, IBM, HP, Oracle, SCC, Mnos, Steria, TCS, BT, Talk Talk, 02, Monitize, KPMG, Deloittes, Fujitsu

What is the IT budget?
Circa £400m

If you can’t tell us the IT budget, how much is the IT operational spend compared to the revenue or company turnover as a percentage?
Run = 40% change = 60%

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
To support the groups new strategic business review. Delivering technology capability in new markets and industries. Driving group wide cost efficiency programme across all businesses. Transform our member proposition. Modernise the Co-operative through digitisation.

Transformation achievements

Would you describe the CIO role as a transformation leader in your organisation?
Yes

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
Co-sponsored brand new Head Office which has been recognised as the most environmentally sustainable office building on the world. Also, one of the most flexible Woking environments both delivered through technology. Executive responsibility for business and IT strategy across the co-operative (as mentioned previously). Created Bank IT five-year strategy for the survival, stability and recover of the Co-op Bank. This was created, presented and signed off by Bank & Group boards. Without this the bank would not have survived.

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
I am the accountable Executive for the Co-Operative Group responsible for separating the Co-operative Bank from the Group. This includes, people, process, technology - every aspect of the organisation. This is a highly complex and unique programme, the first time a bank will be re-capitalised and IPO'd without recourse to the tax payer.

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
Cloud, digital, Virtual desktop, CRM over and above oracle ERP

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?
Circa 20%

How is the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and social networking impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation at present?
We have made big strides forward in this area, particularly with our new flexible working in new head office (as mentioned before). We have introduced colleague forums, idea generation, recognitions and we are currently thinking about the next phase - creating digital forums to unlock new business strategy, particularly how colleagues can be commode engaged and influential in running the business.

Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives, place the right controls around employee choice and engage with the organisation on this issue?
This is a conversation that I have already been through with my executive peers, they get it and they understand. It is one of the ways I am driving efficiency and consistency across the Group. Increasing service, not losing flexibility, but significantly educing cost.

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
I think I can learn from anyone, colleagues, customers, peers. Everyone has something to contribute and the the ability to be open to this, rather than having ears closed and prejudging. Sometimes, just avoiding the traps and pitfalls!

The CIO role in the business

Who do you report to?
CEO

How often do you meet with the CEO?
Weekly

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?
Yes, currently that's me in addition to CIO responsibilities

What percentage of IT budget do you control and what percentage of IT budget does your digital peer hold?
All of both

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team?(What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
1600 (75% internal 25% external)

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
CIOs that have end to end responsibility for a line of business. Plus centralised group CTO and service provision

And how many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?
10,000+

What is the primary technology platform? ( for example ERP, Website, trading system)
Given the diversity of the Group thee isn't a primary platform as such, possible the nearest is group finance and HR Oracle