Somerfield abolishes IT director position

Supermarket chain Somerfield has abolished its IT director position, following the departure of incumbent Gordon Scholes, who...

Supermarket chain Somerfield has abolished its IT director position, following the departure of incumbent Gordon Scholes, who left the firm at the end of July.

Scholes was overseeing a three-year IT consolidation programme at Somerfield. His role will be split between business systems executive John Pelling and business systems development director Andy Monk, a company spokesman said.

The move reflects the increasing fragmentation of the role and should act as a warning to those who are too comfortable in their jobs, said David Metcalfe, research director at Forrester.

"It is a big mistake for IT directors to think their jobs are on an upward trend," he said.

"The majority of IT directors are from an old-school background, but fully technology enabled businesses do not need this type of person. They want business leaders with deep technology knowledge."

However, Metcalfe said, the trend represents an opportunity for IT directors to train in other business areas to adapt to changing demands.

Although it is unusual to completely scrap the role of IT director, having one person in charge of IT is becoming less prevalent, said Phil Smith, IT director at research firm Datamonitor.

"Companies have seen IT develop along two distinct paths following the explosion in e-business," he said. "It is not uncommon to see senior positions split between the traditional IT structure and e-business."

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