Associated British Foods is a British multinational food processing and retailing company. Its ingredients division is the world's second-largest producer of both sugar and baker's yeast and a major producer of other ingredients including emulsifiers, enzymes and lactose. Its grocery division is a major manufacturer of both branded and private label grocery products and includes the brands Mazola, Ovaltine, Ryvita, Jordans and Twinings. Its retail division, Primark, has around 200 stores.

When did you start your current role?
2008

Have you completed an MBA?
No

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

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

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
We do not have one major transformational project but have done a number of Core ERP Upgrades, increased the use of digital tecnolgies and invested in a number of enabling technologies

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
It supports the increasing international expansion

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
HDS - For storage to support out internal cloud offering

Name your strategic technology suppliers?
HDS, IBM, ATT , SAP, Microsoft

What is the IT budget?
£75m Opex, £70m Capex

Transformation achievements

Would you describe the CIO role as a transformation leader in your organisation?
No , more as enabler

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
Creation of internal Infrastructure Shared Services

Acqusition of a number of businesses to create larger more focused operation in AB World Foods

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
Acqusition of a number of businesses to create larger more focused operation in AB World Foods

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
SaaS

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?
10-20% various by business

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 allow personal mobiles and tablets limited connection to the corporate networks and email. Whist I am not sure it increases productiviy it does increase satisfication

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?
Yes BYOD has a policy that seems to work for us. In terms of shadow IT I believe it cannot be stopped but we put effort into education and awareness and by not trying to stop it business functions tend to discuss what they want to achieve

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
I am lucky to work wiht a number a good group Chief executives who I learn a lot from

The CIO role in the business

Who do they report to? CFO

Does the CIO have a seat on the board? No

How often do you meet with the CEO?
Depends on the part of the group under discussion

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?
No

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team?(What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
Globally > 400 .. 80/20 Inhouse / Outsourced

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
I have direct reports in Security and Infrastructure and then dotted line reports to the 8 divisional heads of IT who are memebers of the ABF IT steering committee

How many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?
25k

What is the primary technology platform?
Varies by Division but we have a lot of ERP (SAP and MS AX plus legacy) Primark has Merchandising and Buying systems