STUDY: BT predicts a renaissance for transport and logistics CIOs
Chief information officers (CIOs) in transport and logistics have an unprecedented opportunity to take a leading role in their organisations, thanks in part to the rise of “shadow IT”.
That’s one of the paradoxical findings of a new global study published today by BT, based on a survey of almost 1,000 senior IT decision makers in eight regions and six sectors worldwide.
Shadow IT is the name given to the growing practice of departments, such as finance or marketing, buying their own IT solutions.
According to the study, “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO”, the practice is now common in the transport and logistics sector, with 76 percent of CIOs in the sector seeing it within their organisations, the same as the global average. Shadow IT now accounts for 23 percent of transport and logistics’ IT spend, compared with an international average of 25 percent.
The growing confidence of departments in buying their own IT solutions is shifting the CIO’s focus away from hands-on support to a more strategic role centred on advice, governance and security. Indeed, CIOs in transport and logistics are now spending 19 percent more time and substantial additional budget on security as a result of shadow IT, versus a global average of 20 percent.
Despite worries about a loss of control and sizeable reductions to their overall budgets, the changes driven by shadow IT give CIOs a unique opportunity to evolve their role.
Luis Alvarez, Chief Executive Officer of BT Global Services, said: “CIOs are perfectly placed to nurture creative uses of technology throughout their organisations while keeping a strategic view. Indeed, our research shows that the board expects nothing less.”
Some 42 percent of respondents in transport and logistics say that the CIO now has a much more central role in the boardroom compared with two years ago, versus 59 percent of CIOs globally. Some 58 percent believe that their board’s expectations of them have increased substantially during the same period, versus 68 percent of international respondents.
Craig Charlton, CIO of De Beers, said: “Creativity comes from really understanding your business issues, really understanding technology and being able to put those two things together. It’s the fusion of a pressing business problem with a good command of what technology can do that leads to great ideas. And without creativity, you will end up with a role focused on transactional services and traditional IT, rather than looking to the future.”
CIOs in transport and logistics view mobility (72 percent, versus 73 percent globally), unified communications (72 percent, versus 72 percent globally) and cloud (67 percent, versus 71 percent globally), as the technologies that can help unlock their creativity. And in a win-win, these, are also identified as being the most critical to delivering commercial results. So the more CIOs are creative in their use of mobility, cloud and unified communications, the more likely they are to meet the expectations of their board.
The research named “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO” is based on a survey of 955 senior IT decision makers in the USA, UK, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Benelux and Singapore. Respondents were from organisations with over 1,000 employees and were drawn from the banking, retail, energy & resources, transport and logistics, manufacturing and public sectors
The survey was conducted during November 2014 by independent market researcher Vanson Bourne. “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO” can be downloaded at www.bt.com/creative-cio.
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.btplc.com.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.