Aurora Fashions CIO John Bovill quits following IT outsourcing deal

Aurora Fashions chief information officer (CIO) John Bovill has announced his decision to leave the women's fashion firm days after Aurora Fashions announced its move to outsource all its IT.

Aurora Fashions chief information officer (CIO) John Bovill has announced his decision to leave the women's fashion firm days after Aurora Fashions announced its move to outsource all its IT.

John Bovill, who has worked for Aurora for the past 11 years, took voluntary redundancy due to "a change in strategic direction" at the business, but also because he felt the job was done.

"During my time at the company, we achieved total network resilience, implemented a common systems platform and made several innovations in the mobile and multichannel space," Bovill told Computer Weekly.

"When I started in this job, the IT budget was around £10.5m and this year it will be approximately £6.3m, so we also achieved significant cost savings," he said.

"As far as I am concerned, the job is done. CFO Richard Glanville has been very accommodating and supportive, but he also accepted it was time for me to go. I feel I need a bigger role."

Bovill was offered options to remain with Aurora and to work with the firm's new outsourcing partner Retail Assist.

According to the outgoing CIO, who remains in the post until June, the contract with Retail Assist is "not a typical outsourcing deal."

"The point is, the team has not been affected in terms of redundancies and it is not changing location," said Bovill.

"This is about continuity of service; the rationale was to be able to build an IT set-up that could allow for a potential change in the shareholder structure in future," he said.

Another advantage of the deal, according to Bovill, is that Aurora will benefit from wider access to IT expertise and offer its IT capability to other companies operating in the retail sector in a more effective manner.

"We do have very strong shared services and could have offered these services to other retailers, but in practice that would be quite difficult, due to possible conflicts of interest with other retail companies," said Bovill.

"Retail Assist now has the opportunity to take the IT staff at Aurora - which is quite well-known for its talent and the several industry prizes it has received - and grow it to gain greater market share in the retail outsourcing market," he said.

"Hopefully the calibre of the Aurora team will equate to interest from other retailers to 'join the club' - it is a win-win situation."

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