Halfords CIO Anna Barsby is a worthy entrant in the CIO 100 for 2016 as she continues to drive change throughout the clicks-and-mortar retailer, writes CIO 100 judge Mark Chillingworth.

Anna Barsby stood out in a close 2015 CIO 100 for her close relationship with the entire senior management team at Halfords. Barsby impressed the CIO 100 panel then and now with her strong change leadership skills.

Fast forward to 2016 and Halfords continues to make significant investments into both its growing online and traditional bricks and mortar retail businesses. This has resulted in a like-for-like sales increase during the third quarter.

"Over the past year we have moved our transformation programme from a significant focus on the back end (infrastructure, networks, security, new tills in shops) into the front end and improving areas that will improve customer and colleague journeys with us," Barsby says of the past year.

"We have started our major ePOS replacement programme, our new HR system is well underway and we are completing large data initiatives too. Still lots of hard work to come but some great momentum to modernise our technology at Halfords."

It is a sign of the culture at Halfords that the organisation is well aware of the car manufacturers investing in connected cars and as a retailer of in-car devices. Halford is preparing itself for disruption and opportunities and organising to become a service oriented retailer.

Halfords continues to increase its use of data and customer insight to become agile and reactive to customer demands.