Patricio Colombo is the master of 10,000 recipes. That, at least, is the number he has made available, along with the all-important pictures, to the entire organisation via a major digital asset management campaign. The move has helped redefine the workflows associated with picture processing throughout the business, moving an extremely manual and siloed approach on to automated processing, tagging and delivery of images from initial shoot to channel delivery. It has lowered costs and accelerated content delivery.
Name and job title
Patricio Colombo, head of IT, Jamie Oliver Group.
How are you influencing the products, experience and services your organisation offers to its customers?
As CIO, part of my job is to bring all parts of the business together to coordinate the digital product offer in all our channels.
How as CIO have you driven cultural and behaviour change in your organisation and to what extent?
We are going through very interesting changes and my team is helping drive that change to consolidate the internal and external digital offer to our customers. Big changes have been made internally in digital asset management, consolidating a picture library with nearly 1 million images for the books, magazine, web, app. We are doing the same for video and are working in a redesign of the end-customer offer to make sure they get the best experience we can offer them.
Define the key business outcomes that you have delivered over the last 12 months and their impact on your organisation's performance
Digital asset management was the highlight of these last 12 months, helping us redefine the workflows associated with picture processing throughout the business, from an extremely manual and silo approach to the current automated processing, tagging and delivery of images from their initial shoot to channel delivery. We've also worked hard with the marketing department to implement CRM and we are currently in the process of redefining our data capture strategy to help us improve content delivery for our customers. We have also designed a centralised recipe database. We have nearly 10,000 recipes but these were scattered around, again due to silos. We have implemented this and have integrated it with our DAM application, so recipes can now have their photos associated from the beginning of the process, which helps us push them out to customers faster.
Describe how you have used organisational and third-party information to provide insight that has benefited your organisation, its customers and products or services
The most important issue was to analyse the existing workflows and find out where data was coming from, where it was being stored and what was it being used for. We then analysed this and came up with processes to help us speed up delivery internally, which lowers our costs and helps us find and distribute content faster and more efficiently. We are redesigning our offer for our customers to give them a consolidated experience. We don't know yet what shape this will take, but we aim at giving them an easier route to our content to help us be the most trusted source of food content.
Describe how you organise and operate IT and how this aligns effectively with business strategy and operations
The CIO is a member of the tech board and ops board. IT's strategy is designed around the needs of the business. We don't do IT for IT's sake. We like tech and only deliver products and services that are necessary for the business objectives. There is a core IT department that manages infrastructure and looks after the internal customer, helping them create and deliver content as and when it's needed. The IT department helps the media, retail and charity verticals and works with the restaurant outsourced team to implement projects that are common to that part of the business. The online department looks after the group website design and content for most of our brands, although some of them are managed with the help of external agencies.
Describe your role in the development of digital strategy in your organisation
The digital strategy is designed by a team that includes creatives, marketing, tech and IT. We discuss the strategy to come up with an approach that is at the core of the business rather than a separate strategy.
Describe how you use and promote technology to redesign the processes, services and structures of your organisation to enable it to become more efficient and customer-focused
As we are in a transitional period where the group is redefining itself internally, there is a myriad of possibilities that opened up for us to promote technology, redesign processes, etc. Internally, an ops review team is looking at the group as a whole to recommend changes to make our processes, products and services more efficient; as CIO, I meet with members of this team regularly to discuss what we can do from tech to help. Solutions might come from an internal development, change of existing processes using collaboration, or bringing in third-party software to aid with those processes. We don't take a one-size-fits-all approach, but look at each process individually and design a solution that fits the organisation, but also that integrates with solutions we have already redesigned.
How do you engage regularly with your organisation about your team and the role of technology in the organisation and what impact is this having?
We tried several approaches, some with more success than others. We are currently redesigning our intranet to make it dynamic, so every team can promote their own content and messages. The important aspect of this approach is to lead to convergence of efforts rather than bombarding our customers with communications from each department.
How do you bring the organisation together to explore and discuss technology and its challenges and to develop stronger alignment of the technology function with the full business?
We have a tech board formed by several group departments and within this we have a tech slate, where all the conversations we have around the business with different companies, from startup to big companies, are registered. We analyse this together to try to detect new opportunities, either for new businesses we can work with to complement what we do or to bring in an opportunity to integrate software that's out on the market and can help us deliver. This way innovation can be brought to the group from everywhere in the group rather than just from IT.
Describe how you keep up to date with developments in technology and IT management
I tend to go to roundtables, a few conferences and read a lot online. I also try to network with peers to exchange ideas.
Do you give yourself and your team time each month to assess or learn about technology vendors outside of the established providers?
We do. There is no structured approach to this, but we do look outside of our established providers regularly.
Rank in order of importance your sources for innovative technology suppliers
1 CIO peers. 2 Industry body. 3 Media. 4 Consultants. 5 Analyst houses.
Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?
How is cyber security led and discussed by senior management?
When did you start your current role?
What is your reporting line?
Are you a member of the board of directors?
What is the annual IT budget?
What is your budget's operational/development split?
How many users does your department supply services to?
Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO?
Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
How many employees are there in your IT team?
Are you increasing your headcount to bring skills and the ability to react to needs in-house?
What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?