Phil Jordan is undertaking the mammoth task of a complete reimplementation of the business model, business processes and customer journeys for the company’s operations in 15 countries. The aim is to turn them all (simultaneously!) into real-time, automated digital telcos. Last year he migrated 60 million customers in eight countries to this digital world of real-time, omnichannel and personalised customer experience; in 2017 it will be the turn of over 140 million more customers.

Job title
Global CIO

Company name

How are you influencing the products, customer experience and services your organisation offers to its customers?
The telecoms sectors is transforming extremely quickly. The combined transformation drivers of digital and now data create an unprecedented amount of technological and business change in our business, and this all has to be leveraged into our global IT strategy and execution.

We are transforming our operations in 15 countries in parallel to become real-time, automated digital telcos. This is a complete reimplementation of the business model, business processes and customer journeys. It has required us to replace all customer-facing systems. In the last year we brought eight countries live and migrated 60 million customers to this digital world. In 2017 we will migrate up to 45% of our global customer base (over 140 million customers). This transforms the experience of our customers, giving them a real-time, omnichannel and personalised experience, and ensures that Telefonica has the digital capabilities we need to compete in this new world.

As GCIO, I have ownership of business processes in the group, and was recently asked to own the company-wide transformation of end-to-end digitisation (E2ED). In executing this programme, we have analysed and established for the first time key performance indicators that baseline the level of digitisation in all products, processes and customer experiences across all countries and segments. This is driving the prioritisation and specific transformation activities to deliver E2ED.

In addition to the major IT transformation, we have:

  • continued to deliver best operational performance and availability year on year for the fourth year running
  • increased our big data/data lake capacity by 500% in the last year
  • launched a series of new big data services to the market and many reused use cases
  • continued to aggressively virtualise our infrastructure
  • continued to simplify our legacy estate – 50% of our IT systems have been removed since 2012
  • migrated 80% of our corporation to Office 365
  • and lots more.

Define the key business outcomes that you have delivered over the last 12 months and their impact on your organisation’s performance
Delivered IT share of cost savings that protect OIBDA performance during a period of diminishing revenue.

What has been your involvement with innovation at your organisation – in particular, with products, business model and technology – over the last 12 months?
In all three areas, IT continues to play a key role.

Product innovation is supported by a more analytical/data-centric capability, and all customer journeys have been renovated to ensure they can be delivered in an end-end digital way. As the owner of business processes, I have to say this has been a year of redefinition and transformation. In addition, agile and iterative development methodologies have been implemented in all operating companies to support product development.

Business model innovation has been a major focus in our B2B segment as we continue the journey to be a credible B2B ICT player. One way I have supported that directly has been through an operating model shift to dismantle internal shared services and become a customer of our own B2B business. We have successfully transitioned our internal, flagship European datacentres to our external ICT business, and started to leverage our internal and external scale for the benefit of both our customers and Telefonica. We are also a major player in the industry body collaboration on many fronts but including common API and data monetisation across the industry.

In technology innovation we continue to lead our industry in the transformation and reimplementation of our business based on new technology. Beyond that, we have been putting considerable focus into data, analytics and application development.

How have you delivered cultural and behavioural change as a CIO within the IT department and/or more broadly across the organisation?
There are elements of cultural and behavioural change in all aspects of transformation across Telefonica. Examples range from the changes in workplace behaviours and productivity that arise from moving to the cloud to the wide-scale changes in business process that are required to deliver the business transformation we are delivering in multiple countries.

How have you worked with your CEO and/or board to communicate whatever ‘digital’ and IT means to your organisation/sector and improve digital literacy at the highest levels of the organisation?
I am the sole corporate sponsor of E2ED in Telefonica globally. This is one of six major strategic corporate programmes in the group. As part of this sponsorship, I have had to prepare and deliver a communication and engagement campaign to explain the digital aspiration of our business, establish goals and define programmes of work in all territories to drive digitisation. In all of these activities, I have spent a considerable amount of time with our board and all the relevant sub-boards in raising awareness and knowledge around digital.

How have you worked with the technology and IT vendor market to achieve your business goals? How have you been able to influence IT suppliers and successfully manage your partnerships/relationships with large IT companies, SMEs and startups?
There are few meaningful goals in Telefonica IT that do not require a partnership or strong vendor relationship to deliver. We have continued the journey of the last few years in reducing the number of partners we have, and we have consolidated in our main business systems area on far fewer partners. The main BSS area is an example where we have successfully moved 80% of the company to common partners. In all cases, the partners were selected for a combination of reasons (quality of solution, cost, cultural fit, experience, reference, etc), but they are all partners that Telefonica is very material for as a customer. This has proven to be useful in getting the right level of partnership depth. To support that, I sit on the advisory board of all three companies with my chief architect on the technical board.

How have you tried to develop the diversity of your team?
Developing diversity remains a constant challenge for many reasons but not least where we operate around the world. We benchmark better than the other technical areas of our global business, but there is still more to do. We have specific shortlist and selection criteria that encourages a more diverse selection, and we track all aspects of diversity on an annual basis. I am still very proud of the fact that for the five major markets in Telefonica, I have three female CIOs.

Describe how you organise and operate IT and how this aligns effectively with business strategy and operations
Our IT organisation is a combination of approaches. We have IT organisations in every market/country, with a CIO that reports on a dotted/functional basis to me. I have a shared services company that delivers global operational and application services to the group, and I have a number of global CIO functions (strategy, architecture, transformation, governance and reporting).

This organisation reflects the nature of our business strategy to operate locally for consumers and global for Businesses, to operate different brands around the world, and to maintain a hybrid approach of global activities where there is a scale advantage and locally where there is an agility and customer proximity advantage.

What strategic technology deals have you made in the last year and who are your main suppliers and IT partners?
We have continued to optimise our run spend through many initiatives but including an ongoing sourcing strategy evolution. We have also continued to make major deals for transformation of the remaining countries yet to commence. Our major partners are IBM, Microsoft, HP, Amdocs, Huawei, Netcracker, Oracle and Ericsson.

What are your key strategic aims for next year?
Deliver business transformation!

  • We will go from six to 10 countries live with the transformed processes and business systems, and migrate the majority of our customer base.
  • We will continue to move all our businesses to be real time from a charging perspective.
  • We will take advantage of this transformation to improve our digitalisation index by a double-digit percentage.

How are you preparing for any impacts Brexit might have on your organisation?
Like everyone, we are waiting to see what Brexit will really mean for the UK in terms of its relationship with Europe. From our perspective, we have UK operations and are headquartered in Spain, so it is especially relevant. Our main focus, however, is ensuring the context of Brexit is aligned to our reintegration and growth of our UK business O2 given the blocking from the regulator of the sale process that we were engaged with last year.

When did you start your current role?

What is your reporting line?

Are you a member of the executive leadership?

Are you a member of the board of directors?

What other emerging roles does your organisation have and what is their relationship to you?
Chief data officer – peer.

How often do you meet with your organisation’s CEO or equivalent?

How many people at your organisation does your function supply services to?

IT budget

What is your annual IT budget, or your spend as a proportion of the organisation’s revenue?

What percentage of your budget is operational spend (ie keeping the lights on) and how much new development (ie innovation, R&D, exploratory IT)?

Rank the following sources of advice/information in order of importance:

  1. CIO peers
  2. Industry bodies
  3. Consultants
  4. Analyst houses
  5. Media

IT security

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

Are you expecting an increase in budget specific to security in order to tackle the cyber threat?

Does your organisation have a designated security professional – CISO or otherwise – and what is their relationship to you?
CSIO – indirect report

Telefonica IT department

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 or planning to bring skills and the ability to react to needs in-house?

Which technologies or areas are you expecting to be investing in over the next year?

  • cloud
  • data analytics/business intelligence
  • CRM
  • datacentre/infrastructure/server
  • IoT
  • security
  • enterprise applications
  • machine learning/artificial intelligence

Which technologies or areas are you expecting to be investing in over the next one to three years?

  • cloud
  • data analytics/business intelligence
  • CRM
  • IoT
  • security
  • AR/VR
  • machine learning/artificial intelligence
  • social
  • networking/communications.

What emerging technologies are you investigating or expect to have a big impact on your sector or organisation?
Cognitive and AI, and bots.

The EU

Does your organisation do a significant amount of trade with the EU?

Does your department include technology staff from the EU?

Are you or have you been looking to the EU to recruit key skills?