Carpenter Fachler

CIO 100 members Martin Carpenter and Chily Fachler told an audience of IT professionals that one the primary cases for the cloud was to free up technology executives to focus on agility and guiding the business.

Peabody Trust IT director Carpenter and Fachler, interim CIO at Virgin Wines before he begins his role as CIO for Green Man Gaming, were discussing workplace transformation at the Computerworld UK event Using Technology to Drive Workplace Transformation at Lord's Cricket Ground in London last week.

Fachler, the former CIO at online ticket retailer Encore Tickets, said wine seller Virgin Wines was an obvious beneficiary of cloud technologies with the bulk of its trade in the period before Christmas.

"We have big peaks in November and December," he said. "But everyone's bought their wine for the year and then it's flat and we've got all this tin, so at Virgin Wines there's a clear case for using the cloud.

"The cloud is a great way we as IT leaders can guide the business and look to the future."

He added: "It's important to lead transformation with our knowledge and expertise, but also keep our ear to the ground and listen to the needs of the people and the business."

Carpenter echoed this view, saying that it was the job of every department at an organisation to be involved in innovation, and that a cloud-first mentality in his IT department was more about providing agility than reducing costs.

One of the main problems the housing association was facing, Carpenter explained, was one of tenancy fraud, so the Peabody has now mobilised its workforce, which is constantly linked in to the Peabody CRM platform to combat such instances.

Carpenter also said that the trust was using predictive analytics from the financial services industry to look at patterns of rent paying so they could recognise tenants who may be facing financial difficulties much earlier and potentially more accurately. "These tools can tell us whether the person who has been three grand in arrears for the best part of a decade is really the one to worry about, or is it the person who has recently defaulted?"

While the Peabody was utilising tools used by those in the finance industry, it was also that sector which Carpenter believes is the main competition to IT departments when it comes to securing the best talents on the market.

"With predictive analytics it's not just a problem of tools, but a problem of talents and seeking people who do not necessarily fit into the IT department," Carpenter said.

"People in finance sector are lapping up those skills which makes it harder for organisations like mine."