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03 February 2014

CIO interview: Anna Barsby, CIO, Halfords

Since joining Halfords as CIO in March 2013, Anna Barsby (pictured) has faced significant business challenges, including a risky cloud upgrade and taking on the task of digitising front-facing customer technology. The retailer has recently announced a move of its SAP-for-retail systems to HP’s Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud. Speaking to Computer Weekly, Barsby said Halford's SAP system is the backbone of what the retailer uses, but an upgrade was long overdue, with it being implemented more than 10 years ago. “We hold all our transactional data from our stores on there,” she explains, saying it interacts with its Manhattan warehouse management system, as well as its customer relationship management (CRM) system. And an upgrade of this size undoubtedly came with risk. “There’s complexity running a programme and upgrading SAP, which is pretty much at the heart of our system estate,” she says. “And it was our first move into the cloud at the same time. Going into the cloud with anything has its unknowns, but with SAP as our ...

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