It's all about vision for Antoine de Kerviler. By introducing data scientists and data stewards to Eurostar, he is creating roles not previously present in the organisation, all part of his plan to build a data reservoir for all the company's data (raw and processed, structured and unstructured) that will allow the business to benefit from scalable systems for transforming and processing data.

When did you start your current role?
December 2013.

What is your reporting line?
CEO.

Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week?
Yes.

Are you a member of the board of directors?
No.

What other executive boards do you sit on?
None.

Does your organisation have a CDO?
No.

What non-technology responsibilities do you have in the organisation?
None yet.

How many employees does your organisation have?
1700.

What number of users does your department supply services to? 
1,700.

How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?
Partnership with other business areas, shared IS strategy reviews with all business areas, regular one-to-ones with other directors, co-management of distribution with commercial director, working with frontline staff...

Eurostar technology strategy and agenda

Is your organisation being disrupted by the internet, mobility or technology-oriented start-ups?
Yes.

Are you empowered by your organisation to disrupt from the inside?
Yes.

Describe a disruptive measure you’ve led or played a major part in
The whole IS sales team (e-commerce and mobile management, testers, developers and devops) is now co-located with the sales and marketing team (UI, UX, SEO, traffic generation, analytics), sharing the same budget, managed in partnership with the commercial director. All stories and tasks are prioritised together, whether they're technical (hosting, upgrades) or user-oriented stories, jointly with the commercial team. The team is now 100% agile, using BDD: users write their user stories and their tests. There are cycles of three weeks per sprint, with releases every three weeks and interim releases if needed.

What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation?
All storage (Windows shares, FTP, cloud, enterprise content management) is moving to Box (cloud file sharing) and SSO will be implemented at the same time.

What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation?
From a technical point of view, no more backups, one system to manage, replacement of all shadow cloud sharing.

From a business point of view, facilitation of collaboration and sharing, access from anywhere with any device (including BYOD), provision of a single version of the truth, search enabled in all enterprise content.

How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation project?
I use examples and demonstration to convince all stakeholders that cloud file sharing addresses their problem: access, search, mobility. I ensure the IS team is mobilised around technical delivery: network, security, access control, training.

What key technologies do you consider enable transformation?
Cloud computing: elasticity and on-demand, pay-per-use, immediate availability, active-active.

Are you increasing the number of cloud applications or infrastructure in use at your organisation?
Yes.

What is your information and data analytics vision for the organisation?
We're creating a data reservoir to store all our data (raw and processed, structured and unstructured). It will allow us to scale up and down according to user needs, and to benefit from scalable systems to run transformation and processing of the raw data.

Data is then accessed by named users, using tools such as cloud BI, Tableau, R. Dashboards are available to anyone who needs access to the information.

I'm creating two roles  data scientist and data steward – which did not previously exist in our organisation.

How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience?
The operations team have a mobile application to report activity and incidents and to communicate with the operations centre. They will soon use an internal social network to collaborate, and follow projects and activities.

Customers communicate with our contact centre using email, social networks and phone, and we're planning to extend the channels of communication opened to our customers.

Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice?
We're opening BYOD for phones and tablets after running a proof of concept for a few months. Personal computers will soon follow. If the user's device is the list of recommended devices, the user will receive support, otherwise if will be on best effort. There are prerequisites for devices: OS version and age, antivirus.

Shadow IT is a good thing as it extends our R&D department. IS is trying to offer corporate solutions that beat the shadow IT ones on performance and features, and we explain to users that the corporate solutions offers more benefits. For example, we are replacing Dropbox with personal accounts with Box.

What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom?
Box for storage. Others are in the pipeline.

Who are your main suppliers?
• SalesForce
• Oracle
• Box
• Microsoft
• Telstra

Eurostar IT security and budget

Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?
Yes.

Has cyber-security risen up your management agenda?
Yes.

Does your organisation understand the potential cyber-security threats it faces?
Yes.

Has this led to an increase in your security budget?
No.

What is the IT budget?
£15m opex, excluding web and e-commerce, which are co-managed.

How much is the IT operational spend compared to the revenue as a percentage?
2%.

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
Digital transformation of the company.

Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
Yes.

Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO?
Yes.

Are you looking for recruits in the EU to fill the skills shortage you have?
Yes.

Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Yes.

Eurostar technology department

How would you describe your leadership style?
Leading by example, collaboratively elaborating a (quite radical) vision, and working on the roadmap to implement it.

Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision
Agree on the vision and give freedom to the leadership team. Spend time with the whole IS team to understand fears and issues, and go through the reasons and benefits of the vision. Help team by evangelising other business areas and directors to transform the push into a pull. Transfer the perception of ownership of system from IS to the business areas.

How many employees are in your IT team?
100.

What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
50/50.

Does your team include key skilled workers from the EU?
Yes.