Established in 1993 by Chief Executive, Ranjit Singh Boparan, as a frozen retail poultry cutting operation, it has grown rapidly through acquisition and expanded to cover 36 manufacturing sites in the UK, eight in the Netherlands, five in Ireland and one in Poland.

When did you start your current role?
Early 2013

Have you completed an MBA?
No

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:

1.    Peer Group
2.    Analyst
3.    Vendors
4.    In-house
5.    Consultant

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
SAP ERP Implementation

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
Financial control and efficiency

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
Hosted data center, MPLS network,  full virtualisation. IBM, Talk-Talk, Dell

Name your strategic technology suppliers?
IBM, ATOS, SAP

IT operational spend compared to the revenue or company turnover as a percentage?

IT Operating Budget ~ 1% v Net Ship + Capex

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
Strategic - Rationalising 9 divisional ERP systems into single instance cloud based SAP HANA.
Operational - Full technology refresh

Transformation achievements

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

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
Following acquisitions, the creation and centralisation of shared services, including standardisation of group-wide businessmetrics and KPI reporting.

One version of the truth!

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
Collaboration, self service for the group. Digital strategy, online and marketing for one of the branded business'

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
SharePoint, Lynk, Office365, Yammer, EpiServer

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?
0%

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?
Current internal technology is restrictive. Technology modernisation address this by design, (end of 2014) social networking, BYOD high on agenda, has exec support and will be encouraged.

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?
The fuel of 'shadow IT'  is poor corporate IT services and the lack of IT communication on strategic technology direction.
BYOD has a place in most organisations, and  it is not an all in or out option. Should be treated similar to a company car policy, provide one or pay an allowance. MDM strategy is the key to success. Exec can be persuaded by cost reduction, simplification or employee benefits. The role of the CIO!

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
CIO Peers, Networking events, Gartner and strategic tech partners.  Online forums, twitter tech sites and other social networking are also a great source

The CIO role in the business

Who do they report to? CEO and CFO

Does the CIO have a seat on the board? Yes

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, my role is more around capability and exploiting technological advancements, CMO is to convert it into revenue. Works here.

What percentage of IT budget do you control and what percentage of IT budget does your digital peer hold?
I control all of it apart from digital marketing spend.

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team?(What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
90+ internal, plus 30-40 additional from two outsourcing partners

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
Four direct reports. Technical architect & Infrastructure, IT Services and Operations, Delivery, and PMO.
Due to scale geographical spread also have five IT Relationship Managers reporting to divisional FD's with dotted line to me. IT technology & services are mandated from group IT.

How many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?
~7000

What is the primary technology platform?
9  ERP's, Wintel, MS technologies