It's simple enough, surely? All Jane Moran at Unilever has to do is 'big data – but better'. Extracting knowledge from data and providing predictive analytics to make strategic and smarter decisions in real-time is the CIO-stretching goal that will grow the business, but done in a way that turns complexity to simplicity.

When did you start your current role?
June 2014.

What is your reporting line?
Report to chief enterprise technology officer.

Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week?
Generally meet monthly, either in meetings or one-to-ones.

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

What other executive boards do you sit on?
Anita Borg advisory board and Brown University's computer science advisory board.

Does your organisation have a CDO?
No.

How many employees does your organisation have? 
Over 100,000.

Does your organisation carry out significant trade in the EU?
Yes.

How many users does your department supply services to?
Over 100,000.

How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?
Close partnership with our business leaders and their teams.

Unilever 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
Digital, social and mobile are all disrupters to our global businesses. At Unilever, we are doing extensive work in digital marketing.  

What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation?
We have just started a programme to support the 'digital employee, upgrading our intranet, and rolling out collaboration tools and internal business applications to comply with the mobile-first mantra.

What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation?
Mobile, social and collaboration tools will allow our employees to be more agile and more productive.

How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation project
Providing digital tools is instrumental to my IT strategy.

What key technologies do you consider enable transformation?
Cloud-based solutions have been instrumental in allowing companies more flexibility and agility to deliver business solutions quickly. In addition, companies must adapt to a mobile and digital-first mentality to meet ever changing business demand.

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?
Big data, but better. Extracting knowledge from data and providing predictive analytics to make strategic decisions in real-time. We need to turn complexity to simplicity to grow the business with smarter decisions.

How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience?
Mobile and social is essentially for growing our business and reaching our consumers.

Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice?
IT needs to work closely with the business leaders in an organisation, providing the foundational capabilities to run the business.  

What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom?
SAP, Salesforce, Workday, Teradata and Oracle.

Unilever 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?
Yes.

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year? 
1. Step-change in service and simplification.
2. Drive competitive advantage for Unilever.
3. Build a high-performing IT team.

Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
No.

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.

Unilever technology department

How would you describe your leadership style?
I want to inspire new technology leaders who want not only to provide secure and high performing IT but also innovate to deliver new capabilities.  I

Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision
Team effort to develop the IT strategy through my own expertise, but also bringing in outside expertise through conversations with other CIOs, software executives and consultants.

How many employees are in your IT team?
2,000+.

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